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.”
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 Alonso DB 5-9 160 Le Center, Minn./Tri-City United Lawrence Anyaehie DE 6-4 220 Naples, Fla./Lely Lucas Bachel DE 6-3 225 South Haven, Minn./Annandale Ben Blancas QB 5-11 175 Mesa, Ariz./Casteel Benjamin Brekke DE 6-0 225 Fargo, N.D./Fargo North Austin Burraston RB 6-0 190 Fillmore, Utah, Millard Cade Callahan WR 6-5 200 Becker, Minn./Becker Tommy Colby LB 6-0 185 Bismarck, N.D./Bismarck Michael Connor DB 5-8 150 St. Peter, Minn./St. Peter Colin Conteh RB 5-10 180 Harwood, N.D./Northern Cass Sam Dwelle OL 5-11 250 South St. Paul, Minn./South St. Paul Lawrence Edouarzin DB 5-11 180 Naples, Fla./Lely Zyon Evans DE 6-2 230 Milaca, Minn./Milaca Jackson Fields DE 6-0 240 Detroit Lakes, Minn./Detroit Lakes Isaac Froemming DT 6-0 270 Alexandria, Minn./Osakis Micah Gayman QB 5-11 160 Las Vegas, Nev./Democarcy Prep Gregory Greicar WR 6-2 200 Flasher, N.D./Flasher Elijah Grove K 6-7 175 Morris, Minn./Morris Wyatt Gunkel DB 6-2 180 Moorhead, Minn./Moorhead Cody Hallman QB 6-2 175 Hollywood, Fla./Cooper City Noah Halmar QB 5-11 165 Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley Kane Hoff OL 6-3 235 Coon Rapids, Minn./Fridley Ben Hoggarth RB 5-9 210 Fargo, N.D./Fargo Oak Grove Jarrett Hutchison LB 6-1 205 Motley, Minn./Pillager Noah Jenson LB 6-1 215 Broomfield, Colo./Broomfield Noah Jeppeson K 5-5 145 Waverly, Iowa/Waverly-Shell Rock Ethan John DB 5-10 150 Felton, Minn./Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Zane Kaupe K/P 5-8 165 San Tan Valley, Ariz./Queen Creek Robert Leslie DB 5-10 180 Fargo, N.D./Fargo South Casey Lowe DB 5-10 195 Surprise, Ariz./Shadow Ridge Jacob Mason DE 6-3 250 Glendale, Ariz./Greenway Mason Molitor RB 5-11 180 Richmond, Minn./Eden Valley-Watkins Mason Moore OL 6-0 230 Osakis, Minn./Osakis Connor Morse OL 6-1 235 Barnesville, Minn./Barnesville Ty Moser LB 6-3 200 Perham, Minn./Perham Hayden Netland LB 5-10 180 Moorhead, Minn./Moorhead Andres Nunez DB 5-8 165 North Las Vegas, Nev./Legacy PJ Parmelee LB 6-0 200 Tea, S.D./Tea Garrett Peterson DB 5-11 165 Hanover, Minn./St. Michael-Albertville Carter Rings OL 6-0 225 Pillsbury, N.D./Hope-Page Mason Robertson QB 5-11 170 Engelwood, Colo./Engelwood Henry Savelkoul LB 6-0 200 Lansford, N.D./Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood Dawson Schaffer WR/K 6-1 160 Horace, N.D./Kindred Carter Schmidt WR 6-3 170 Nerstrand, Minn./Northfield Braydon Smith DE 5-11 200 Las Vegas, Nev./Calvary Chapel Micah Solberg DB 6-1 180 Detroit Lakes, Minn./Detroit Lakes Eli Sorum RB 6-0 205 Fergus Falls, Minn./Kennedy Hayden Spilles K 5-11 190 Lake Norden, S.D./Hamlin Mitchell Sullivan DB 5-9 160 Annandale, Minn./Annandale Junior Surpris LB 5-11 200 Fargo, N.D./Fargo Christian Thingvold OL 6-2 210 Moorhead, Minn./Moorhead Collin Thompson DE 6-2 235 Safford, Ariz./Thatcher Ethan Tong OL 6-2 240 West Fargo, N.D./West Fargo Cody Urie RB 6-1 165 Proctor, Minn./Proctor Conner Walsh LB 6-1 215 Frazee, Minn./Detroit Lakes Jayden Young DB 6-0 160 Las Vegas, Nev./Durango