QB recruit found NDSU trustworthy

FARGO -- Poor used car salesmen. They get a bad rap because along the way, too many of them perfected a slick talking shtick that eventually ended in consumers getting a bad vehicle.

FARGO -- Poor used car salesmen. They get a bad rap because along the way, too many of them perfected a slick talking shtick that eventually ended in consumers getting a bad vehicle.

There's probably some of that in college football recruiting, too. Anywhere there is a sales pitch to be made, rules of honesty are bound to be broken.

But in the case of North Dakota State recruit Brock Jensen from Waupaca, Wis., and in his words, the Bison coaches were straight with him.

They let him know he wasn't their first choice.

And in the end, that was very appealing to the quarterback.


"It's nice to know I can trust them and that was really key in making this decision," Jensen said.

Jensen signed his letter of intent on Wednesday ending a Bison quarterback quest that was supposed to lead to Michigan high school quarterback A.J. Westendorp. But when Westendorp said no to NDSU, Jensen was more than happy to say yes.

"They were telling me everything that was going on throughout that time," Jensen said. "They told me exactly where I sat. It's a long process and they wanted to make sure they got the right guy. It just so happened it worked out and it fit. Both of us are happy."

It's been one happy moment after another this year for Jensen, who at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds has the physical look of a West Coast offense quarterback. He led his team to an undefeated season and a state championship in a community of 5,700 people, located in the mid-east part of the state.

The Bison contacted Jensen the Sunday night after the state title victory. From there, it was a test of patience for the teenager.

He was most serious with Minnesota-Duluth, which was coming off a title of its own. It's possible Duluth could have said: "take us now or we'll pull the offer and you can risk losing out on NDSU, too."

It wasn't as if Division I schools were lining up outside of Waupaca waiting to talk to Jensen.

Obviously, he didn't have the total package they were looking for. The University of Wisconsin and Eastern Illinois offered walk-on status, he said. Grand Valley State and Northern Michigan liked him.


Recruiting is a funny business. Eastern Illinois hit on a small-town Wisconsin kid named Tony Romo.

It didn't get a kid named Steve Walker.

It has a pack journalism mentality -- if one publication is hot on a guy, they all are. Keeping external evaluations from polluting your own vision is a must.

That's probably how NDSU arrived at keeping Jensen in the loop.

I'm not sure what there's not to like, unless playing in a lower high school division scared away people. He's big. He's a leader. He's a winner. He's well-spoken and mature. A highlight video on WDAY-TV Wednesday night showed him running away from people, unless all those kids that were left in the dust were pulling grand pianos.

"He's a very accurate passer," said NDSU head coach Craig Bohl.

He threw 1,582 yards and 21 touchdowns and ran for 1,140 and 19 touchdowns.

If he has as much poise on the field as he did during the recruiting process, he'll do just fine.


"Just to stay patient is a really big thing," he said. "Sometimes it's frustrating because you want to get to that next step right now. But the NDSU coaches were also patient and I think they made the right choice."

The Forum and The Dickinson Press are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

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