MOORHEAD — Ben Hoggarth was ready to be done with football this past January after completing his second year at North Dakota State.

The Fargo Oak Grove graduate didn’t play in any games during his redshirt freshman season with the Bison, a campaign that ended with an NCAA Division I FCS national championship.

“Playing time wasn’t really on my horizon I don’t think,” said Hoggarth, who was recruited to NDSU as a running back, but moved to safety. “I hung it up at NDSU and I was just done.”

At the urging of his high school coach at Oak Grove, Melvin Whitney, Hoggarth said he decided to take a look at Concordia to give football another chance. Hoggarth liked what he saw.

“After talking with their staff, I decided I wanted to give it another go,” Hoggarth said of the Cobbers. “I’m ready to go again.”

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Concordia head football coach Terry Horan, left, said announced his 2020 recruiting class Monday, May 11. David Samson / The Forum
Concordia head football coach Terry Horan, left, said announced his 2020 recruiting class Monday, May 11. David Samson / The Forum

The 5-foot-9, 210-pound Hoggarth was part of the recruiting class that Concordia head football coach Terry Horan announced earlier this week. He’s moving back to running back for the Division III Cobbers. During his senior season at Oak Grove, Hoggarth rushed for 1,818 yards and 20 touchdowns.

“He’s a grinder, a very good back,” Horan said. “Very competitive.”

Horan announced 55 recruits Monday, May 11, including three transfers. The Cobbers added Annandale (Minn.) defensive end Lucas Bachel (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) to the class Tuesday for a record 56-player recruiting class. The class includes 30 defensive players, 22 offensive players and four kickers.

“Our overall goal is to make sure that we get every position covered and have some depth there,” Horan said. “We felt it was important for us to bolster up our defensive line and offensive line. We were able to do that.”

In Hoggarth’s two years at NDSU, the Bison went 31-0 with two national championships. Even though he didn’t log any playing time, Hoggarth said he "learned so much," including how to train from Bison strength and conditioning coach Jim Kramer.

“Going through the Kramer meat grinder really teaches you a lot about yourself and instills a lot of discipline,” Hoggarth said. “That gets instilled with you for the rest of your life. … To see how it’s done to be a championship team. The formula hasn’t changed. Being able to have that experience, now I’m ready to bring that on to Concordia.”

The Cobbers added another NDSU transfer in Ty Moser, who wrestled for the Bison. Moser was a multiple-sport standout at Perham (Minn.) High School. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Moser is projected to play inside linebacker at Concordia.

“He was one whale of a football player coming out of high school,” Horan said. “We’re going to put him at inside linebacker and he’s a kid who could help us pretty soon in his career. He’s a man.”

The Cobbers added another transfer linebacker in Noah Jenson (6-1, 215), who spent the past two seasons at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton.

“I think those guys will add depth for us right away,” Horan said of Moser and Jenson. “They could start.”

Matt Gruber, who transferred from Augustana (S.D.) University where he played baseball, wasn’t listed in the incoming recruiting class since he’s been at Concordia for a semester. He was on the Cobbers baseball team this spring.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Gruber, however, will be new to the football program next fall and projected to play quarterback.

“I’ve seen the athleticism of Matt Gruber and I can see him competing very well,” Horan said.

Senior quarterback Sean McGuire is the most experienced signal-caller on the roster with junior Tanner Dubois also in the QB mix along with Gruber. McGuire completed 4 of 9 passes for 128 yards and three touchdowns last season.

“I think those would be the three right out of the gates who would be competing,” Horan said.

While Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota are in Concordia’s primary recruiting footprint, the Cobbers spread their web into states like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Utah.

“We have dipped into some other areas that have become pretty good places, very fruitful for us,” Horan said. “We were able to dip into other areas that I’m hoping down the road will continue to grow for us and make it even better.”

Below is the complete 2020 recruiting class:

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Mateo AlonsoDB5-9160Le Center, Minn./Tri-City United
Lawrence AnyaehieDE6-4220Naples, Fla./Lely
Lucas BachelDE6-3225South Haven, Minn./Annandale
Ben BlancasQB5-11175Mesa, Ariz./Casteel
Benjamin BrekkeDE6-0225Fargo, N.D./Fargo North
Austin BurrastonRB6-0190Fillmore, Utah, Millard
Cade CallahanWR6-5200Becker, Minn./Becker
Tommy ColbyLB6-0185Bismarck, N.D./Bismarck
Michael ConnorDB5-8150St. Peter, Minn./St. Peter
Colin ContehRB5-10180Harwood, N.D./Northern Cass
Sam DwelleOL5-11250South St. Paul, Minn./South St. Paul
Lawrence Edouarzin DB5-11180Naples, Fla./Lely
Zyon EvansDE6-2230Milaca, Minn./Milaca
Jackson FieldsDE6-0240Detroit Lakes, Minn./Detroit Lakes
Isaac FroemmingDT6-0270Alexandria, Minn./Osakis
Micah GaymanQB5-11160Las Vegas, Nev./Democarcy Prep
Gregory GreicarWR6-2200Flasher, N.D./Flasher
Elijah GroveK6-7175Morris, Minn./Morris
Wyatt GunkelDB6-2180Moorhead, Minn./Moorhead
Cody HallmanQB6-2175Hollywood, Fla./Cooper City
Noah HalmarQB5-11165Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley
Kane HoffOL6-3235Coon Rapids, Minn./Fridley
Ben HoggarthRB5-9210Fargo, N.D./Fargo Oak Grove
Jarrett HutchisonLB6-1205Motley, Minn./Pillager
Noah JensonLB6-1215Broomfield, Colo./Broomfield
Noah JeppesonK 5-5145Waverly, Iowa/Waverly-Shell Rock
Ethan JohnDB5-10150Felton, Minn./Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
Zane KaupeK/P5-8165San Tan Valley, Ariz./Queen Creek
Robert LeslieDB5-10180Fargo, N.D./Fargo South
Casey LoweDB5-10195Surprise, Ariz./Shadow Ridge
Jacob MasonDE6-3250Glendale, Ariz./Greenway
Mason MolitorRB5-11180Richmond, Minn./Eden Valley-Watkins
Mason MooreOL6-0230Osakis, Minn./Osakis
Connor MorseOL6-1235Barnesville, Minn./Barnesville
Ty MoserLB6-3200Perham, Minn./Perham
Hayden NetlandLB5-10180Moorhead, Minn./Moorhead
Andres Nunez DB5-8165North Las Vegas, Nev./Legacy
PJ ParmeleeLB6-0200Tea, S.D./Tea
Garrett PetersonDB5-11165Hanover, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville
Carter RingsOL6-0225Pillsbury, N.D./Hope-Page
Mason RobertsonQB5-11170Engelwood, Colo./Engelwood
Henry SavelkoulLB6-0200Lansford, N.D./Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood
Dawson SchafferWR/K6-1160Horace, N.D./Kindred
Carter SchmidtWR6-3170Nerstrand, Minn./Northfield
Braydon SmithDE5-11200Las Vegas, Nev./Calvary Chapel
Micah SolbergDB6-1180Detroit Lakes, Minn./Detroit Lakes
Eli SorumRB6-0205Fergus Falls, Minn./Kennedy
Hayden SpillesK 5-11190Lake Norden, S.D./Hamlin
Mitchell SullivanDB5-9160Annandale, Minn./Annandale
Junior SurprisLB5-11200Fargo, N.D./Fargo
Christian ThingvoldOL6-2210Moorhead, Minn./Moorhead
Collin Thompson DE6-2235Safford, Ariz./Thatcher
Ethan Tong OL 6-2240West Fargo, N.D./West Fargo
Cody Urie RB6-1165Proctor, Minn./Proctor
Conner WalshLB 6-1215Frazee, Minn./Detroit Lakes
Jayden YoungDB6-0160Las Vegas, Nev./Durango