Bison QB Lance is No. 10 on ESPN's Heisman watch list

Redshirt freshman led NDSU to 57-10 victory over Butler in his first start as a college quarterback

North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance fires a pass over offensive lineman Karson Schoening against Butler at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. David Samson / The Forum

For a football program that seemingly has accomplished everything at its level, North Dakota State keeps checking off "firsts."

The latest is one that is likely temporary, but noteworthy nevertheless.

Bison redshirt freshman Trey Lance is No. 10 on ESPN's initial Heisman Trophy Watch List for the 2019 season. Released Tuesday, Sept. 3, Lance is mentioned in the same stratosphere as Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

It's believed to be the first time a Bison player has made a watch list for the Heisman Trophy, awarded annually to the best player in college football. It is rare that a player from the Football Championship Subdivision is mentioned in connection with the Heisman.

"The Bison wouldn't have become the dynasty of the Football Championship Subdivision if they couldn't handle turnover, but losing both head coach Chris Klieman (to Kansas State) and quarterback Easton Stick (to the Los Angeles Chargers) was a lot. The debut for head coach Matt Entz and redshirt freshman quarterback Trey Lance, however, went about as well as anyone could have hoped," wrote ESPN's Bill Connelly.


Lance accounted for six touchdowns in NDSU's 57-10 season-opening victory over Butler at Target Field last Saturday. He was 10 for 11 for 185 yards and four TDs passing and added two more running scores.

Hurts, who transferred to Oklahoma from Alabama, is listed No. 1 on the list. Clemson running back Travis Etienne is second.

The Bison host the University of North Dakota this Saturday at the Fargodome.

Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while he was a student studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He's been with The Forum full time since 1990, minus a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk-show.
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