FARGO — Former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance is now with the San Francisco 49ers after being selected No. 3 overall Thursday, April 29, during the first round of the NFL Draft.
Lance became the second former Bison QB to be drafted in the top three in the NFL Draft in the past five years, joining Carson Wentz, who the Philadelphia Eagles selected at No. 2 overall in the 2016 draft.
The 6-foot-4, 226-pound Lance made 17 starts during his Bison career, winning all 17. He led NDSU to a 16-0 record in 2019, his redshirt freshman season, that culminated with the program's third consecutive NCAA Division I FCS national championship. Lance passed for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns with no interceptions during the 2019 season and also rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Lance played in 19 games for the Bison, including two games in 2018, which was his redshirt season. He played in one game in the fall of 2020 before he declared for the NFL Draft. Lance was named the starter a couple weeks before the Bison 2019 season opener at Target Field.
Below is a game-by-game look at all of Lance's 17 starts at NDSU:
Bison 57, Butler 10
Aug. 31, 2019, Minneapolis
Lance excelled his his first career start against Butler at Target Field before 34,544 fans. The redshirt freshman completed 10 of 11 passes for 185 yards and also rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns on five attempts.
“If you were an innocent bystander coming in watching him, you would have never thought he was a redshirt freshman,” Bison head coach Matt Entz said. “I thought he had a ton of moxie, a ton of maturity and did an outstanding job of executing the offense and controlling the huddle."
Bison 38, UND 7
Sept. 7, 2019, Fargodome
Lance completed 11 of 15 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts. His 14-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter capped a 31-point victory.
"Trey has come along at a rate that we never expected," said Bison offensive tackle Dillon Radunz.
Bison 47, Delaware 22
Sept. 14, 2019, Newark, Del.
Lance completed 18 of 23 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns and he also rushed for 23 yards on six attempts at Tubby Raymond Field. His third and final TD pass, a 4-yard completion to tight end Noah Gindorff, gave the Bison a 33-5 lead with a little less than nine minutes to play in the third quarter.
"I think the biggest thing is confidence," Lance said. "I think learning from the seniors last year, we are confident on the sideline."
Bison 27, UC Davis 16
Sept. 21, 2019, Fargodome
Lance completed 13 of 23 passes for 156 yards and rushed for 48 yards and two touchdowns on 13 attempts. His 10-yard touchdown run with 2 minutes, 50 seconds to play in the fourth quarter clinched the 11-point victory.
"You can't be your best every game," Lance said. "A win is a win. We'll take the win every time."
Bison 37, Illinois State 3
Oct. 5, 2019, Normal, Ill.
Lance completed 12 of 15 passes for 189 yards and also rushed for 43 yards on seven attempts. His 35-yard touchdown pass to Noah Gindorff fueled a 16-point first quarter. Lance also connected with wide receiver Christian Watson on a 42-yard scoring play.
"We have a bunch of explosive players," Watson said. "We have a bunch of guys who will turn nothing into something."
Bison 46, Northern Iowa 14
Oct. 12, 2019, Fargodome
Lance completed 10 of 18 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 83 yards on 11 carries. He threw two TD passes in the first quarter to build an early 15-0 lead.
"Everything starts and finishes with them," Lance said of the Bison offensive line. "They dominate every week."
Bison 22, Missouri State 0
Oct. 19, 2019, Fargodome
Lance completed 21 of 31 passes for 225 yards and rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on eight attempts. He scored on a 21-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
“Anytime the other team doesn’t score, it’s a really good feeling,” Lance said. “Especially when they don’t get close to scoring. Credit to our defense and our defensive staff just how hard they play and how hard they work day in and day out. Our defense is really good.”
Bison 23, South Dakota State 16
Oct. 26, 2019, Brookings, S.D.
Lance completed 7 of 14 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 76 yards on 18 attempts. He threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Ellefson in the third quarter of the Dakota Marker with ESPN's College GameDay originating from Brookings earlier in the day.
Bison running back Adam Cofield scored on a 71-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-short with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter for the game winner.
“It was wild,” Lance said. “Super exciting. We were all just thinking get the first down and hold on to the ball. Adam made a great play. ... It was a lot of fun, a lot of energy out there.”
Bison 56, Youngstown State 17
Nov. 2, 2019, Youngstown, Ohio
Lance completed 7 of 9 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown on four attempts. His 69-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Watson helped fuel a 42-point first half.
“I threw better balls than the past few weeks,” Lance said. “I think we were a little frustrated, so we had a lot of energy and it was a lot of fun.”
Bison 57, Western Illinois 21
Nov. 9, 2019, Fargodome
Lance completed 17 of 22 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown on three attempts. His 51-yard touchdown pass to Christian Watson gave the Bison a 33-0 lead early in the third quarter.
“He’s in this room more than anybody else,” said Bison head coach Matt Entz, while sitting in NDSU’s team room where players watch film. “(Lance) sits in here every morning from 8 to 10 o’clock. He’s in here and he knows exactly what every offense is going to do. To see him continually develop and continually challenge himself; he’s doing a great job of taking what offenses give him and making plays with his feet when he needs to.”
Bison 49, South Dakota 14
Nov. 16, 2019, Fargodome
Lance completed 12 of 15 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 47 yards on five attempts. His 43-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Watson gave the Bison a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
“He’s making a lot of plays,” Lance said of Watson. “I told him to probably stop hurdling people on the sideline because we want to keep him healthy but that showed a little bit of his explosiveness and athleticism. He’s a freak.”
A 41-yard pass from Trey Lance to Christian Watson, with some nifty moves on the sidelines, gets the Bison near the endzone. pic.twitter.com/grXay33W5l— NDSU Football (@NDSUfootball) November 16, 2019
Bison 21, Southern Illinois 7
Nov. 23, 2019, Carbondale, Ill.
Lance completed 13 of 23 passes for 146 yards and rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts. His 34-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter capped a 14-point victory as the Bison completed a 12-0 regular season.
“We wanted to go out and finish this thing the right way,” Lance said.
Bison 37, Nicholls State 13
Dec. 7, 2010, Fargodome
Lance completed 10 of 16 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown on 11 attempts. His 6-yard run gave the Bison a 31-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter to help seal the victory in the second rounds of the FCS playoffs.
“He’s definitely a special player,” Nicholls State defensive tackle Sully Laiche said of Lance. “He’s just longer and thicker. You just can’t tackle him with a shoulder.”
Bison 9, Illinois State 3
Dec. 14, 2019, Fargodome
Lance completed 10 of 21 passes for 135 yard and rushed for 41 yards on a 11 attempts as the Redbirds held a high-powered Bison offense without a touchdown in the FCS quarterfinals.
“We almost felt to the point that we let them down a little bit,” Lance said of the Bison defense. “I didn’t execute. I can do better. I have to give them credit. They are a really good team.”
Bison 42, Montana State 14
Dec. 21, 2019, Fargodome
Lance completed 15 of 21 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 64 yards and two touchdowns on 11 attempts. His 75-yard touchdown pass to Christian Watson sparked a 22-point second quarter in the FCS semifinals. Lance added a 73-yard TD pass to Dimitri Williams in the third quarter that came off an elusive scramble.
“That’s a different level play,” Bison head coach Matt Entz said of the Lance scramble and pass to Williams. “That’s not a freshman play. That’s an advanced play right there.”
Bison 28, James Madison 20
Jan. 11, 2020, Frisco, Texas
Lance completed 6 of 10 passes for 72 yards and rushed for 168 yards and a touchdown on 30 attempts at Toyota Stadium before 17,866 fans. His 44-yard touchdown run on a third-and-long play on the first play of the fourth quarter helped vault the Bison to a third consecutive FCS national title, capping a 16-0 season.
Lance finished the season with 28 touchdown passes and no interceptions and won the Walter Payton Award, given to the top offensive player in the FCS, the night before the title game against Dukes. Lance was the first freshman to win the Payton award.
“For him to be that young — I’ve said it before — he’s very dynamic,” Dukes defensive lineman Ron’Dell Carter said. “For him to be that young and that calm in the pocket is pretty crazy. He’s got three years left of his eligibility. That’s pretty impressive.”
Bison 39, Central Arkansas 28
Oct. 3, 2020, Fargodome
Lance completed 15 of 30 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 143 yards and two TDs on 15 attempts in the lone game he would play in his sophomore season. The Bison played only one game in the fall of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lance declared for the NFL Draft soon after the Central Arkansas game.
Lance threw the only interception of his college career against the Bears.
“Trey’s not perfect," Bison linebacker James Kaczor said. "He’s a really, really, really, really good football player, but sometimes things just don’t go your way.”
Lance scored two touchdowns during the 2018 season, which was his redshirt season. He didn't lose a year of eligibility due the NCAA four-game rule.
Lance had a 44-yard touchdown run against North Alabama on Sept. 15, 2018, at the Fargodome. He added 23-yard TD run against South Dakota on Oct. 27, 2018, at the DakotaDome in Vermillion, S.D.