Bison get pleasant surprises on injury frontFARGO — North Dakota State’s season outlook got a little brighter this week. And that doesn’t include the new lights at the Fargodome, which will be a marked difference from the dim bulbs of the past.
By: Jeff Kolpack, Forum Communications Co.
FARGO — North Dakota State’s season outlook got a little brighter this week. And that doesn’t include the new lights at the Fargodome, which will be a marked difference from the dim bulbs of the past.
Two of the team’s stars who had significant off-season injuries — linebacker Brandon Jemison and receiver Warren Holloway — are on the field and going through drills, albeit on a somewhat limited basis. Jemison is recovering from hip surgery and Holloway microfracture surgery to his knee.
The one starter still on the shelf, offensive lineman Jeff Jerve, is expected back in a few weeks and head coach Craig Bohl indicated he will gradually be worked into the lineup. Jerve was hurt in spring practice. Holloway and Jemison did not suit up at all in the spring.
“We have to look at the long-range picture with both of those guys,” Bohl said. “We can’t rush things too much.”
Not rushing things may not be as easy as it sounds. Bohl said both players’ competitive nature makes for a tricky proposition: at what point do they take themselves out rather than risk further injury?
“Many times their body will say don’t go but their mind will say go,” he said.
Jerve earned a starting spot at the beginning of spring football at right tackle. His injury moved senior Paul Cornick from guard to tackle and left an opening at right guard. Sophomore Tyler Gimmestad, a converted defensive lineman, won the job.
Bohl calls the offensive line deeper than it’s been in the previous several years.
“We have six guys who have played a lot of football,” he said.
Also back from injury is junior safety Brock Gion, a special teams starter from Regent who tore his ACL last year.
Bohl said safety Danell Miles from Goodyear Ariz., who was part of last winter’s signing day class, did not qualify academically and will attend another school.
Meanwhile, the following players will be on the roster as walk-ons that were previously unreported: freshman wide receiver Nate Moody from Dickinson, fullback Jedre Cyr from Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (Minn.), fullback Brennan Cable from Marshall, Minn., defensive lineman Brian Schaetz from Denmark, Wis., and tight end Luke Albers from Amherst Junction, Wis.
A new NCAA rule that increased fall camp participation from 90 to 95 players made room for more walk-ons. The roster can expand once school is in session.
“I would love to be at 105,” Bohl said. “Fall camp is a rigorous thing. The FCS coaches have been battling the NCAA for years to increase that level.”
Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.