ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

College football: CB Dudzik ready to play for Bison

FARGO - The pace of redshirts being taken off of North Dakota State true freshmen last year was at times fast if not furious. Christian Dudzik was like the kid watching a neighborhood party from his living room window.

FARGO - The pace of redshirts being taken off of North Dakota State true freshmen last year was at times fast if not furious. Christian Dudzik was like the kid watching a neighborhood party from his living room window.

He felt left out.

"Right away I did," he said Monday. "But eventually I understood I wasn't ready and I figured that out."

The Bison coaches figure he's ready this year. Although not yet ready to be declared the starter at cornerback, he has been working with the No. 1 defense so far in fall camp. It's an untested position with only sophomore Marcus Williams with Division I Football Championship Subdivision experience.

Dudzik is a redshirt freshman from Omaha, Neb.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Coach said this morning that nobody has that job," Dudzik said of the spot opposite Williams. "We're out here trying to earn it."

Dudzik started his NDSU career as a free safety. That lasted six days before he was moved to strong safety.

Once the season started, he was moved to scout team cornerback.

"He's really learned the system," said defensive backs coach Chris Klieman. "As many reps as he got in spring, he's very confident in what he's doing."

The move to cornerback last season turned out to be a blessing in depth for NDSU, which lost starting cornerback Brendin Pierre for this season due to academics.

Williams is a Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason first team selection. Pierre started as a true freshman and had two years behind him.

"I felt bad for him but also like coach said, I feel bad for the seniors because they lost a great cornerback," Dudzik said. "They're big shoes to fill. But I'm a lot more confident than I was last year and I understand the defense."

In high school at Omaha Skutt Catholic, he was better known for throwing for yards rather than defending them. Klieman said that kind of athletic ability made it an easier transition in the defensive backfield.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We have the athleticism out there that we feel like can win," said head coach Craig Bohl.

Okland out briefly, defensive end transfers

Bohl said true freshman receiver Andrew Okland from Fargo South is having eligibility issues with the NCAA Clearinghouse. He'll most likely not practice until the first day of school.

Bohl also said sophomore defensive Nick Powell-Calhoun decided to transfer over the summer, destination unknown. Powell-Calhoun came to NDSU as a receiver, but was switched to defense last spring. He rarely played.

"It was a mutual decision to go to another school," Bohl said.

After five days of fall camp, Bohl said nobody has left the team.

"Typically somebody does something or somebody quits," he said. "So far, everybody's in the boat."

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kolpack's NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
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
Halftime sharpshooter overshadows Minot Ryan victory over South Prairie in North Dakota Class B basketball
Area recreation scores and schedules.
Regional and local scores and schedules.
The Force scored three first-period goals, then added two late to fend off the Storm on Friday.