WEST FARGO — West Fargo standout wide receiver and defensive back Carson Hegerle verbally committed to play football at North Dakota State on Wednesday, choosing the Bison over multiple offers from FBS programs.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder had scholarship offers from UNLV, Nevada, Utah State, Wyoming, Army, and Toledo in the FBS and NDSU, North Dakota, South Dakota State and South Dakota in the FCS. He is rated as a three-star recruit by both Rivals and 247sports.
"The culture at NDSU is amazing," Hegerle said. "It’s unreal and all of the support is crazy. The Fargodome is a special place. After visiting a few times, it just felt right. I made my decision a couple nights ago."
Hegerle rarely leaves the field for the Packers. In addition to playing both ways as a wide receiver and defensive back, Hegerle kicks and returns kicks. He has 17 catches for 319 yards and two touchdowns this season for an average just shy of 80 yards per game. He has a field goal, 11 extra points and two touchbacks this year as a kicker. He has five kick returns for 89 yards and four punt returns for 15 yards.
Hegerle is West Fargo’s all-time leader in career receptions with 110. He put his name on the map with a breakout sophomore season that saw him catch 42 passes for 540 yards and two touchdowns. He followed that up with 33 catches for 425 yards and four touchdowns as a junior.
The plan is for Hegerle to play wide receiver at NDSU.
"I’ve always wanted to play wide receiver ever since freshman year," Hegerle said. "It’s really important to me that I can have the ability to play offense. Defense is fun, but offense is where my heart is."
Hegerle is following a trail well-worn by his family to North Dakota State., where both of his parents and his sister competed. His dad, Erik, was a defensive back on the Bison football team from 1990-93. His mom, Shelly, was a sprinter at NDSU. And his sister, Kalli, played volleyball at NDSU for two years before transferring to the University of Jamestown.
"They’re super excited," Hegerle said. "They went to NDSU, so that’s pretty cool, but they wanted me to make that decision for myself. They’re super excited."
Like his mother, Hegerle has excelled on the track. He finished second in the state in both the 100-and 200-meter dashes this spring. He ran the 100 in 10.92 seconds in the state finals and the 200 in 21.67 seconds. He recorded a 4.48 40-yard dash and a 10-foot-2 broad jump at a camp at the University of Wyoming this summer, and a 35.5-inch vertical leap at a Nebraska camp.
This past winter, Hegerle helped the Packers to their first Class A basketball state championship since 1992. He was the second-leading scorer with 18.4 points per game and hauled in six rebounds per game. He scored a game-high 28 points with nine rebounds and four steals in a state semifinal victory over two-time defending Eastern Dakota Conference champion West Fargo Sheyenne.
The West Fargo football team is off to a 2-2 start to the season and plays at Fargo South on Friday.