One of Chris Klieman's first tasks as the next head football coach at North Dakota State is to make sure recruits who committed to the program under Craig Bohl will indeed come to Fargo. Klieman was busy making phone calls Sunday, the day his hiring was announced, to make sure that happens.
It appears a couple of top offensive recruits remain committed to the Bison, even though Bohl is headed for Wyoming.
Standout quarterback Easton Stick of Omaha, Neb., said in a text message Sunday night he is still committed to attending NDSU. Stick also said his favorite high school target, receiver R.J. Urzendowski, also remains committed to the Bison.
"Yes I am committed," Stick wrote. "After Coach Bohl left a lot of schools contacted me and I've listened to all of them just to make sure I am making the best decision for me and my family.
"I am excited for Coach Klieman and am happy they got this done quickly."
Easton Stick says he remains committed to NDSU. (Photo credit Omaha World-Herald)
Stick and Urzendowski were teammates at Omaha's Creighton Prep.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Stick completed 115 of 205 passes for 2,011 yards this fall. He had 17 touchdown passes and four interceptions.
Stick verbally committed to the Bison on Oct. 20. Prior to that he was offered scholarships by FBS Akron and FCS schools South Dakota State, South Dakota, North Dakota and Southeast Missouri. Big Ten schools Nebraska and Iowa also showed interest but didn't offer scholarships.
Since Bohl announced a week ago he was leaving NDSU for Wyoming, social media reports had Missouri Valley Conference schools like Northern Iowa and Illinois State making offers to Stick.
"I don't know (Klieman) very well, but he called me earlier today and I'm excited for him and excited to build a better relationship with him and the coaching staff he brings in," Stick wrote.
Urzendowski was Stick's No. 1 receiver at Creighton Prep. He had 70 catches for 1,127 yards and eight touchdowns this fall. He averaged 16 yards a catch.
Stick said Urzendowski also had many coaches contacting him after Bohl's decision to leave the Bison.
"R.J. is still committed but he has also opened it up and heard what other people have to say just in case," Stick wrote.
The 6-1, 190-pound Urzendowski verbally committed to the Bison in September. He told the Omaha World-Herald he took his first scholarship offer.
Urzendowski told the World-Herald it was good news when Stick also chose NDSU.
“I was pretty excited about Easton,” Urzendowski said in October. “He’s a great quarterback and first things first, we’ll have a great one coming up there. And then we have our relationship. It will be nice to have a familiar face throwing to you. We see the field the same way.”
Stick will redshirt his first year at NDSU. Urzendowski is unsure if he will redshirt.
The Omaha pair are among 14 verbal commitments received by the Bison. Klieman said at his introductory press conference Sunday he will work hard to ensure all remain committed to NDSU.
"I hope that a number of the kids chose NDSU for NDSU," Klieman said. "For the academics and the tradition of Bison football."
(Mike McFeely is a talk-show host on KFGO-AM in Fargo, N.D. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcFeelyKFGO.)