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Bison 2022 position preview: Cornerback

NDSU returns both starters for the 2022 season

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North Dakota State's Courtney Eubanks breaks up a pass to East Tennessee’s Will Huzzie during their NCAA FCS quarterfinal football playoff game Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Fargo.
Forum Communications Co.
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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.

BISON POSITION PREVIEWS:

Kicker , Punter and Safety

Part four of our series takes a look at cornerback, a position where NDSU returns both of its starters from last season and plenty of experience for the upcoming season.

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COURTNEY EUBANKS - Junior

Eubanks returns for his junior year, coming off a season where he started all 15 games a year ago. He has turned into the shutdown corner that Matt Entz and defensive coordinator David Braun thought he could be.

Eubanks started to shine late in the spring season, seeing his reps go up against South Dakota State, Eastern Washington and Sam Houston.

He didn't miss a beat in the fall. Eubanks finished with 44 tackles, along with six passes defended. He added a fumble recovery as well.

With the talents at wide receiver throughout the Missouri Valley Football Conference, Eubanks has routinely been matched up against the best players, which also means he doesn't see the ball thrown to his side of the field often.

Eubanks was a highly touted recruit out of high school, and that talent has paid off so far in his first two years at NDSU. The only thing missing from his resume so far is an interception, which can't be too far away when you see Eubanks play making ability.

JAYDEN PRICE - Senior

Price made his presence felt in two separate positions in 2022. First at cornerback, the second at punt returner.

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Price's talents at punt returner were evident early in the season, with two big returns, including a 45 yard touchdown against Valparaiso.

On the defensive side, Price finished with 17 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery last fall. His stats may not blow you away, but Price was an impact player at his position.

You add Price's experience with Eubanks' and you have both starters back with 30 games of reps.

DESTIN TALBERT - Senior

Talbert had the biggest turnaround from the spring season to the fall, bar none.

In addition to having the biggest play of the season, the game clinching interception against James Madison in the FCS semifinals, Talbert saw his play continue to improve all year.

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North Dakota State's Destin Talbert makes an end zone interception against James Madison during their NCAA FCS semifinal football playoff game Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, in Fargo.
Michael Vosburg/Forum Communications Co.

It began in the first game of the season, when Talbert registered his first career interception against Albany. He added another pick in the final game of the season against South Dakota, coupled with 31 tackles thru the year.

All along in Talbert's career he has been a tremendous special teams player and that never wavered last season.

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His play will be counted on in a big time way this coming season as he returns for a fifth year of eligibility. Remember, Talbert played as a true freshman in 2018.

MARQUES SIGLE - Sophomore

When Sigle first arrived on campus in June 2020, the Bison coaches told me, "he could help us right away." We'll never know how close Sigle was to playing, since that season got wiped out because of Covid.

Instead, Sigle redshirted, but he was ready to go in the fall. Sigle was named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer team finishing with 23 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.

Sigle's first career interception came against Indiana State, which was a highlight reel play in itself. The Omaha native is one of the many young bright spots on the Bison defense, and certainly will be playing a bigger role in 2022.

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North Dakota State's Marques Sigle picks off a pass intended for Indiana State’s Dante Hendrix during their football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Forum Communications Co.

DEPTH AT CORNER?

Beyond those four players, there is a lack of experience at this position. Anthony Coleman, Britton Pascoe and Jenaro Ocama are all players that are highly thought of, but haven't played a lot. Keep an eye on Pascoe, who has returned from an ACL injury in his senior year of high school, that could follow Eubanks road from Florida as an impact player.

ANALYSIS

To pair the experience that NDSU has at safety (two sixth-year starters) with what they have returning at cornerback and the back end of the Bison defense is formidable. The experience paired with the youth at corner makes me think NDSU is well positioned going forward and we could see some highlight plays in 2022.

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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