Bison quarterback Lance has Central Arkansas on his mind, not NFL decision

North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance celebrates a big gain with teammate Dillon Radunz during play against James Madison in the FCS title game in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 11. 2020. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO — Whether North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance is going to declare early for the NFL Draft is an announcement that will wait until later. This week, it's all about Central Arkansas.

Lance, appearing at a press conference for the first time since the Division I FCS national title game last January, said the focus is on the 2:30 p.m. Saturday game at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. It's NDSU's only game this fall in a season that has been in upheaval because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said he hasn't stressed about any of the NFL talk that picked up steam over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm playing football at North Dakota State and honestly would rather not answer questions about that today," Lance said. "It's game week. I'm 1,000% focused on winnning this game. It's all hypotheticals at this point and so I'll let you guys talk about the NFL. But that's not my job right now, my job is to lean on my teammates and win another game here at North Dakota State."


Teammate and left tackle Dillon Radunz has already declared his intention to play the game against the Bears and then focus on the draft. He will not play in the spring when the Bison take part in the Missouri Valley Football Conference schedule.

Numerous national media reports and mock drafts have Lance being one of the top three quarterbacks and taken among the first 15 picks.

"He's handled it like a pro," said Bison head coach Matt Entz. "He's extremely mature, extremely poised and that's the same way he handles to day-to-day life. I'm super excited how he's handled it."

Entz said Lance has until mid-January to make a decision per NFL rules. NDSU will reconvene for practice after Christmas but in the meantime, Lance said he has no timeline in mind until then.

"I don't know yet," Lance said. "I'm not going to let anything take away from the guys here and even after the game on Saturday, sure get the same question. I won't have an answer for you then either."

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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