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Welcome To The Off-Season

by Dan Gunderson

Fans and media, including myself, had a mini-freakout over a North Dakota State University football recruit on Monday. Verbal commit Easton Stick, a quarterback from Creighton Prep High School in Omaha, Neb., had tweeted out that he was going to commit to Rutgers University to play football next season.

It seemed odd considering just the past weekend he seemed all about NDSU. Tweeted out pictures and claiming his overall excitement to be joining program. None the less, I retweeted it. Unfortunately, I might add. In mere minutes, Stick had deleted the tweet, apologized and said somebody had hacked his account.

Why did fans and I get so riled up about the fake tweet? It is because NDSU has made this town, and region, a football area. NDSU has always been a football school but it the following of Bison football has intensified over the past three years. Gee, I wonder why.

Even five years ago, had Brock Jensen made the claim on Twitter that he was deciding to walk-on at Wisconsin University instead of NDSU, no one would have batted an eye. Who is Jensen? Why do we care if he is coming here or not? Only the hardcore Bison faithful would have been disappointed but not to the extent fans seemed to be over Stick’s fake decision.

Because of NDSU’s success, they have made the off-season of football relevant. We know much more about Stick coming into college than we ever did about Jensen when he arrived on campus. Stick has a strong arm but needs to learn when to and how to use that arm strength.

The type of offense they ran at Creighton Prep was not a pro style offense but a Pistol offense that allowed Stick to run much more than he will be asked to at NDSU. He also is a solid runner but not to the point that he can rely on his adlibbing skills out of the pocket to make plays at the next level.

We also know that he was offered a shot to play at the FBS level with Miami (OH) and Rutgers, among others. He is also coming to NDSU with a teammate of his from high school, wide receiver R.J. Urzendowski.

Why do we know all of this and, better yet, why do we care? Stick most likely won’t see playing time until he is a sophomore, if he is lucky. It is just part of the continuing trend in this region that will only intensify if NDSU keeps bringing in solid recruits and producing championship winning teams. It is something that we all better get used to.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called “The Pinto and White Shadow Show.” Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.