The next series in the offseason coverage of the North Dakota State football team focuses on five breakthrough players for the 2019 season.
Spencer Waege nearly played as a true freshman in 2017. It was a last minute decision by then head coach Chris Klieman, who decided to pull the redshirt on Logan McCormick and save Waege a year. It was a smart move as Waege used that redshirt year to get stronger and it seemed to pay off in 2018.
Waege played in all fifteen games, racking up 22 tackles and a sack and a half en route to being named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer team. I've been told that Waege has "Kyle Emanuel-type" potential and 2019 will be a big test for him. With the graduation of Greg Menard, there is an open spot at defensive end, but the Bison coaches have really took to moving Waege inside as they did when the Bison played at South Dakota and found success there.
Waege was the first to commit for NDSU in the Class of 2017 out of Watertown High School in South Dakota and may be on his way to being another tremendous player for the Bison out of the state of South Dakota.
Waege has prototypical size to be a standout at 6'5, 260 pounds and has already grabbed a leadership spot on the defensive line and the potential for him to be a breakout candidate is high in 2019.