Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Everybody, everything to get evaluated during Bison spring football practice

North Dakota State starts spring ball with almost everybody healthy, most positions up for grabs

North Dakota State quarterback Cam Miller, shown here in the FCS quarterfinal playoff game against Samford, spent his Spring Break in Florida working with an individual quarterbacks coach.
Michael Vosburg/Forum Communications Co.

FARGO — The snow banks at the outdoor practice field at the North Dakota State football practice facility were nearly as high as the surrounding fence, in some spots even higher on Wednesday. Thursday is the first day of spring practice and in a switch from years past, the Bison don’t even have to worry about the Fargodome schedule.

The benefits of having their own digs with the Nodak Insurance Football Performance Complex. Speaking of, what goes on inside during the next 15 NDSU practices may be complex in putting together the pieces.

There’s plenty to put together.

Everybody, everything is open to evaluation, said Bison head coach Matt Entz.

“No one is going to be able to hide during spring ball,” he said. “There is going to be a camera on every single movement you do out there. And the great part about it is we can evaluate everything.”


The bright lights most likely won’t be on this Bison team in this offseason like other years. For one, South Dakota State defeated NDSU in the FCS national championship game. For another, the Bison lost a lot of experience and have five new coaches on staff.

NDSU will find out if its long-touted depth will continue. The Bison have 17 defensive linemen and 14 offensive linemen who will be part of spring drills. There are 14 wide receivers on the roster. In all, they’ll have 40 players who played at least 200 snaps last season.

Four quarterbacks will practice, including Cam Miller and backup Cole Payton. Miller is the established starter, although that didn’t stop Entz from touting about competition.

“I envision Cole Payton’s role continuing to expand,” he said. “The thing I’ve asked Cole to do is push Cam as much as you can. The better our backup is, the better our starter has to be. Let’s make sure Cole is doing as much as he can.”

Both quarterbacks spent Spring Break working with individual quarterback coaches: Miller in Florida with Bison receivers Zach Mathis and Braylon Henderson and Payton in his hometown of Omaha, Neb.

“Really pleased with the seriousness that some of these guys are going into this spring with,” Entz said.

North Dakota State's Cole Payton carries against South Dakota State during their football game Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, in Fargo.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Defensively, sophomore Reggie King was moved from safety to cornerback. Three players will sit out spring ball with various injuries: fullback/long snapper Hunter Brozio, defensive end Loshiaka Roques and offensive lineman Kaden Chadwick. Fullback Logan Hofstedt will be limited to individual drills.

Four new players joined the team this semester in transfers Hunter Zenzen, a defensive end from Iowa State, cornerback Marcus Sheppard (Bowling Green), linebacker Marcus Gulley (Minnesota State Moorhead) and offensive lineman Isaac Zatechka (Missouri). In addition, linebacker Jaiden Pickett from Milwaukee graduated high school early and enrolled at NDSU.


The Bison spent the previous eight weeks with winter conditioning under the guidance of strength and conditioning coach Jim Kramer. Spring ball represents the next phase that will be followed by a short break and summer conditioning.

Entz mentioned the new indoor facility in his opening remarks, noting the facility replaced the portable bubble over Dacotah Field that was put up late in the fall and taken down in the spring.

“I don’t know if the bubble would have survived the winter with this amount of snow we’ve gotten this winter,” Entz said.

The No. 3 South Dakota State Jackrabbits upset the No. 2 North Dakota State Bison in the first round of the Summit League baseball tournament.
The North Dakota State Bison baseball team looks to use its home advantage in the 2023 Summit League tournament beginning Wednesday in Fargo.
Bison star's agent says 5-on-5 games later this week will largely determine Nelson's draft fate.
With Western Illinois leaving, it looks like the Summit will be at nine teams for a while
The North Prairie all-state lineman is the second Division I football product from the co-op. Karson Schoening was the first in 2015.
NDSU assistant heading back to school where he was formerly an assistant coach and student
"I think it was a day or two later at school Cody comes up and smiles and I'm like oh no, there is no teeth there," said Kendrick Lenzen, Mauch's childhood friend.
WDAY Sports+ is live this Saturday, April 29 at 12 p.m., as the NDSU softball team and the North Dakota Fighting Hawks matchup.
The North Dakota State All-American offensive lineman was selected with the 48th overall pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The former Bison fullback left Fargo racking up 33 touchdowns in 43 career games.
NDSU football is on the verge of having three offensive lineman selected in the last three NFL drafts.
Nebraska high school sprinter Gabe Miles, whose father coached men's basketball from 2001 to 2007, signed a letter of intent with the Bison track and field program.

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.
What To Read Next
Get Local