FARGO — Slinger (Wis.) High School offensive lineman Ashton Beers had plenty of NCAA Division I options with nearly 20 offers from both Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision programs.
North Dakota State emerged from that sizable list of offers, six of which were from FBS programs. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Beers verbally committed to the Bison on Thursday, July 22. NDSU's championship pedigree, with eight FCS national titles since 2011, was one of the factors that made the program the right fit for Beers.
“For me, I thought it was kind of the best combination of what I was looking for in a school and a football program,” Beers said. “The thing I really liked there is the winning culture. It’s a really good program.”
Beers became the 13th known commitment for the 2022 recruiting class. The senior-to-be also had Missouri Valley Football Conference offers from Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Illinois State and the University of South Dakota. His FBS offers included Miami (Ohio), Air Force and Central Michigan. He also garnered multiple offers from Ivy League schools, including Princeton, Yale and Harvard.
“I’d say it’s definitely a relief to have it over with,” Beers said. “I’m happy to finally make a decision and put it behind me.”
Beers, who has a 4.0 grade-point average, is projected to play offensive tackle for the Bison. Beers' senior season will be his third as a starter for the Owls. Slinger head coach Bill Jacklin described Beers as an "unbelievable" teammate.
“A very intelligent kid, that’s going to help him, too," said Jacklin, who has been the head coach at Slinger for 11 seasons. “He understands when you listen, you learn more. He is very quiet, but he has that little bit of nastiness when he plays.”
Jacklin added he thinks Beers has the potential to play in a Power Five conference like the Big Ten. NDSU’s ability to develop offensive linemen also played a role in Beers’ decision.
Former Bison offensive tackle Dillon Radunz was selected in the second round of the most recent NFL Draft, while former NDSU offensive linemen Billy Turner and Zack Johnson played for the Green Bay Packers last season and Joe Haeg played for Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay a season ago. Haeg has since signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Seeing a lot of their O-line being successful in the NFL that was a big thing, too,” Beers said. “That was definitely a big thing for me to know that they’ve developed a lot of really good offensive linemen.”
Beers said he had six different campus visits in June and also attended camps at Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska.
Beers plans to study engineering at NDSU. All told, he had offers from 19 Division I programs before he committed to the Bison.
“Part of it's my game film, you’ve got to be able to play,” Beers said of multiple offers. “Especially with the Ivy Leagues, the school part, you have to do well in that, too.”