A group of people on AGS are trying to evaluate every recruiting class in the FCS. Here are their thoughts on NDSU.
NORTH DAKOTA STATE
QUICK TAKE: The Bison did a nice job of finding projectable, athletic, physical, " football players" with versatility. As expected in a low population state, they had to branch out to neighboring states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois, and tap into ties in Arizona to fill out the class. But make no mistake, the star of the show is home grown, and should have Bison fans eagerly awaiting the next four to five years.
WHAT WE LIKE: Of the 19 players we evaluated, 11 rate as above average in our view, with four rating as premium. We were shocked, surprised and thrilled to find a nugget like QB, Carson Wentz, in this class and feel the sky is the limit as far his upside is concerned. We also really like DE/DT prospects, Josh Lisenby and Joe Horvath, and feel OL Josh Colville has a chance to make an immediate impact if need arises on the offensive line. Danell Miles is a good looking free safety, and we also like safety prospet Frank Veldman. The TE class is solid, with Lucas Albers and Derek Lee. We had mixed opinions on LBs Nick Soliere and DeShawn Dinwiddie, and may be underrating both when it's said and done.
WHAT WE DON'T LIKE: Other than Wentz, we don't see much impact at the skill positions offensively, and we also don't see a great deal of team speed collectively speaking.
RANKING THE BISON RECRUITS
Carson Wentz, QB, 6-5, 205: FCSR Rating: 50 -- Tool package doesn't come much better than this - has all the tools and attributes to develop into an elite FCS QB, and then some - prototype body w/ room to grow - excellent feet, mobility and pocket awareness - big arm, can make all the throws - tight, compact release - accurate on the move, can throw easily to his left, against body - excellent student (4.0, 29 ACT) - we see an NFL prospect and a guy with potential to dominate at FCS level.
Josh Lisenby, DT, 6-2, 236: FCSR Rating: 40 -- Good football player who makes plays - like the motor and ability to run in the open field - versatile enough to play inside or out though somewhat of a tweener physically - must gain significant weight to be viable DT - will he maintain quickness at 270+?? We think he can.
Josh Colville, OL, 6-3, 280: FCSR Rating: 40 -- Good looking OL prospect - an athlete playing OG - strong, physical, athletic build w/ good mass - explosive first step with ability to get out and run - physically speaking, should be able to step in and contribute early if need is there.
Danell Miles, FS, 6-0, 190: FCSR Rating: 40 -- Classic free safety with good size and athleticism for position - rangy, instinctive player with good closing speed and ball skills - shows ability to tackle in open field - plays physical.
Ryan Sanford, QB, 6-2, 180: FCSR Rating: 35 -- Shows some polish - nice footwork/ mobility in and out of pocket - shows ability to throw on the move - throws easy, catchable ball - doesn't possess a gun but arm strength adequate enough to make routine throws - needs to get bigger & stronger but like the upside.
Nick Scoliere, LB, 6-2, 205: FCSR Rating: 35 -- Another good football player with versatility to play multiple positions - projects as OLB - nice length & frame to add weight - shows ability to both cover and rush the passer - good ball skills - questionable raw speed, but adequate enough for projected position.
DeShawn Dinwiddie, LB, 6-2, 215: FCSR Rating: 35 -- Hybrid LB/SS - good present size w/ room to get bigger - like the length - doesn't dominate but has good athleticism and runs well for size - physical player - can cover.
Frank Veldman, SS, 6-4, 190: FCSR Rating: 35 -- Rangy, projectable build - good athlete with skills to play on either side of ball - like the length, range and ball skills...listed as strong safety though we like better at free - would make a quality WR as well.
Joe Horvath, DT, 6-3, 245: FCSR Rating: 35 -- Physically mature - like the energy, motor and first step quickness - a tweener physically, but plays big - if he can get to 270-280 range without losing quickness, could be a steal.
Lucas Albers, TE, 6-6, 240: FCSR Rating: 35 -- Big-framed, wide target w/ deceptive athleticism - extension of offensive line - has frame and athleticism to make for quality OT at some point.
Berkley Grimm, FB, 6-0, 240: FCSR Rating: 35 -- Fits the physical profile of a true fullback - physical, punishing blocker - solid in screen game - runs hard between the tackles - not flashy but type of guy you need in ball control offense.
Jordan Champion, DB, 5-9, 160: FCSR Rating: 30 -- Versatile athlete who projects as corner - evaluated mostly as a Wing-T RB - a bit undersized and speed doesn't overwhelm, but shows good instincts and ability to change direction .
C.J. Smith, CB, 6-0, 175: FCSR Rating: 30 -- Listed as CB, evaluated on video as RB - adequate size & speed to play corner - shows enough footwork, change of direction and ball skills to project average at position.
Andrew Oakland, WR, 6-4, 195: FCSR Rating: 30 -- Solid WR prospect - Nice size and hands - projectable body - not a home run threat but has skills to develop as competent possession receiver.
Joey Sonnenfeld, FS, 6-3, 185: FCSR Rating: 30 -- Limited video but like the frame, length, and athleticism - shows good ball skills - may be be better suited on offensive side of the ball.
Andrew Bonnet, FB/HB, 6-3, 230: FCSR Rating: 30 -- Listed as FB but we're evaluating as TE/HB where we feel he's a better fit - Long, strong, athletic build w/ room for strength gains - deceiving athleticism - doesn't appear very fast, but shows some elusiveness and strength with ball in his hands - solid hands.
Derek Lee, TE, 6-4, 240: FCSR Rating: 30 -- Solid TE prospect - good size w/ frame to add weight - decent speed & route runner.
Matt Jones, RB, 5-10, 200:FCSR Rating: 25-- Solid size w/ limited physical projection - ordinary back.
Lyle Norman, DE, 6-4, 230: FCSR Rating: 25 -- Limited video look but has projectable build - shows decent athleticism but first step quickness & explosiveness appear lacking on video - will definitely have to bulk up to play inside - not sure he has enough fast twitch to play on edge.
Evaluations for other FCS schools can be found here...