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Bison 2022 football depth chart preview: Safety

NDSU returns two sixth-year players to the back end of its defense

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North Dakota State's Dawson Weber evades a tackle after intercepting a North Dakota pass during their football game Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Grand Forks. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
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The 2022 North Dakota State football season is quickly approaching and offseason coverage is heating up at the Bison Media Zone.

Thru the summer months, we will look at each position on the Bison football team and examine the depth chart at those positions, ranging from current players on the team to incoming players that could play.

NDSU DEPTH CHART PREVIEWS: Kicker and Punter

Part three of our series looks at the most senior part of the football team, the safety position. North Dakota State will boost two sixth-year starters, Michael Tutsie at strong safety and Dawson Weber at free safety.

MICHAEL TUTSIE - 6th year senior

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It seems like a long time ago that Tutsie was standing out during spring ball, where Chris Klieman was touting the young man from Indianapolis. It was a long time ago, it was 2018.

Tutsie entered the starting lineup in 2019 and hasn't left, starting 41 straight games. Admittedly, Tutsie did not have a good spring season in 2021, but that turned around this past fall.

He was all around the ball, racking up 81 tackles, which was good for second on the team. He picked up his only interception of the season in the quarterfinals against East Tennessee State.

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North Dakota State's Michael Tutsie (25) celebrates his interception with teammate Dawson Weber during the FCS quarterfinals at the Fargodome on Dec. 11, 2021. David Samson / The Forum
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Tutsie did all of this with a thumb injury that was aggravated in the national championship game. He's fully healthy and has already been named a preseason first team All-American.

DAWSON WEBER - 6th year senior

Weber is a great story of perseverance to getting to the football field. He was a backup in 2019, to becoming a starter for the 2020 season, but was limited to just four games because of injuries.

He came back with purpose this past season, as he racked up four interceptions, including picks in back to back games against James Madison and Montana State.

Weber finished fifth on the team in tackles with 50 and could very well be a team captain in 2022. His experience and vocal leadership can't be underestimated on a team that brings back a ton of experience this season.

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DOM JONES - Redshirt junior

Fans may forget about Jones because of Tutsie and Weber rarely coming off the field, but the Bison have another stud on the back end in Jones.

Pressed into action in the spring season in 2021, all he did was lead the team in interceptions with three and became a reliable tackler.

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North Dakota State's Cole Wisniewski (right) and Dom Jones (left) close in on Eastern Washington’s Jakobie James during their first-round FCS football playoff game on Saturday, April 24, 2021, in the Fargodome. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

His presence wasn't as felt as much during the fall with just 13 tackles and a forced fumble. I would expect you will see more of Jones in critical spots this year, and the crazy part with Jones he still has three years of eligibility to use if he wants to.

LOTS OF YOUTH

The future at this position is really intriguing because it could be determined on what NDSU does at a different position.

The Bison moved safety Julian Wlodarczyk to linebacker during the spring and gave redshirt freshman Ryan Jones some snaps at linebacker as well.

I've been told the NDSU coaches really like redshirt freshman Reggie King, who did some good things on the scout team during the fall of 2021. Fargo Davies alum Ty Satter is another name to keep an eye on, along with Tyson Gordon, who was a big name recruit when he arrived in Fargo, but has rarely seen the field in his time with this Bison.

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ANALYSIS: This is not only one of the best position groups on the team, but one of the deepest. If there were injuries to happen to Tutsie or Weber, Jones is ready to step in.

The young players haven't been tested, but with two non-conference games where NDSU will be heavily favored, the potential for them to get some reps is a strong possibility.

Dom Izzo is the Sports Director at WDAY-TV. He began working for WDAY in 2006 as the weekend sports anchor and was promoted to Sports Director in 2010.
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