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The Gindorff, Crosby-Ironton connection to Bison football continues

Crosby-Ironton tight end Dylan Klancher will sign letter of intent with North Dakota State

Dylan Klancher.jpg
Crosby-Ironton fullback Dylan Klancher carries the ball against Moose Lake-Willow river in the Section 7 2A championship game played in Esko, Minn., on Nov. 3, 2022.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

FARGO — The last six years for Crosby-Ironton assistant football coach Mike Gindorff has meant a steady stream of attention about 150 miles to the west, where his son was a tight end at North Dakota State. That’s not necessarily going to change next fall, either.

Crosby-Ironton tight end Dylan Klancher is one of a handful of players to sign a letter of intent with the Bison on Wednesday, Feb. 1, the first day of the NCAA’s second signing period for NCAA Division I football. Like Noah Gindorff, Mike’s son who finished his Bison career this fall and is working toward the NFL, Klancher is coming to NDSU with a reputation of being a hard-nosed player.

“Big, strong physical kid,” Mike Gindorff said. “Like really strong, really physical. ... Good Iron Range toughness, that's what we like."

NDSU signed 20 players in December in the early-signing period. Klancher originally committed to Minnesota Duluth, but will take a preferred walk-on offer with the Bison in a quest to play at the Division I level. UMD is a Division II school that plays in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

His older brother, Jake Klancher, was a second-team all-state selection in 2021 at Crosby-Ironton when he led the state of Minnesota in tackles. He just finished his freshman season at Wisconsin-Stout.


At 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Dylan Klancher will probably start his Bison career at tight end, although Mike Gindorff compares him to former Bison defensive lineman Costner Ching, who also started his NDSU career as a walk-on tight end and later transitioned to defensive tackle.

Klancher attended the Bison camp last summer, but never seemed to be fully healed from an issue that surfaced last spring. He eventually was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his pelvis, an injury Mike Gindorff attributed to his pure strength.

“He is so strong that his leg muscles were pulling his pelvis apart,” he said.

It caused Klancher to miss the first few Crosby-Ironton games and probably prevented further recruiting attention. He was predominantly a tight end/fullback for the Rangers.

“By the end of the year he was a dominant player,” Mike Gindorff said.
Noah Gindorff was also a dominant player in high school. He redshirted at NDSU in 2017, played in 50 career games from 2018-21 before an ankle injury at the close of the 2021 season carried over to him playing just three games last fall.

Noah was part of a tight end group as a freshman that included Ching, Josh Babicz, Cody Mauch and Austin Avery. Babicz was on the Green Bay Packers practice squad this season and Mauch is working toward being an NFL Draft pick this spring.

Noah is currently training in Denver with Mike saying rehabilitation is “going really well.” He attended the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., last weekend to talk with NFL scouts and watch former Bison teammate Nash Jensen play in the game.

“He got a lot of really positive feedback,” Mike said.


Mike said the hope is for Noah to be medically cleared sometime around the NFL Combine that starts in late February in Indianapolis, Ind. He won’t run at the Combine but interviews with NFL teams will hopefully clear up any medical questions, Mike said.

The plan is for him to be ready for all of the drills by NDSU’s Pro Day in late March.

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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