The ramp up to the 2021 North Dakota State football season continues on the Bison Media Zone.

This week we'll focus on the best individual players that the Bison will face this season.

Next up is a familiar name for football fans in the Red River Valley, North Dakota sophomore running back Otis Weah. The former Moorhead Spud was named a first team All-American after the spring season, where he led the Missouri Valley Football Conference in rushing yards and touchdowns.

Weah's story has become well known, he saw sporadic action during his freshman year in 2018 for the Fighting Hawks, but after a standout spring ball was set to become UND's top running back in 2019. That didn't happen as Weah was academically ineligible and missed the season.

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He returned in a big time fashion in the spring of 2021, starting with the season opening game against Southern Illinois. Weah ran for 91 yards and a touchdown, repeatedly bouncing off would-be tacklers would become a theme throughout the year.

Weah saved some of his best performances for the best teams. He scored two touchdowns against South Dakota State, scored on a 74 yard touchdown run against the Bison and despite losing, ran for 96 yards and a touchdown against James Madison in the FCS quarterfinals.

His size (5-9, 195 pounds) may not be the most imposing, but Weah has surprising speed. The intriguing piece about the upcoming season will be how teams try to stop him. He was a bit of a unknown heading into the spring. That's not the case now.

Weah will face an FBS team for the first time in his career as the Fighting Hawks play against Utah State out of the Mountain West this season. His story is one of the best around and was punctuated by his play last year.

We'll see what Weah has in store for an encore in 2021.

UND's Otis Weah hurdles Missouri State defender Titus Wall in the third quarter for a Fighting Hawks touchdown. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service
UND's Otis Weah hurdles Missouri State defender Titus Wall in the third quarter for a Fighting Hawks touchdown. Eric Hylden / Forum News Service