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Bison land QB recruit from one of Florida’s top programs

FARGO -- One of the top high school football teams in Florida is Lakeland, which boasts six state championships and one of the more unique nicknames in the country -- the Dreadnaughts. North Dakota State has a more common nickname, but one of the...

Holden Hotchkiss, a quarterback from Lakeland, Fla., has verbally committed to play football at North Dakota State.
Holden Hotchkiss, a quarterback from Lakeland, Fla., has verbally committed to play football at North Dakota State. (Submitted Photo)

FARGO - One of the top high school football teams in Florida is Lakeland, which boasts six state championships and one of the more unique nicknames in the country - the Dreadnaughts. North Dakota State has a more common nickname, but one of the reasons quarterback Holden Hotchkiss gave a verbal commitment to NDSU this week is he wanted to remain with a successful program.
The Bison annually allocate one scholarship to the position, and they gave Hotchkiss a phone call this week to deliver the news. It didn’t take long for the 6-foot-4, 205-pound right hander to give an answer.
“It was on the spot,” Hotchkiss said. “It wasn’t that tough. I got up there for their camp and liked everything about it.”
Lakeland is located just east of Tampa and the distance from there to Fargo was not a factor, Hotchkiss said. He said he also had FCS offers from Arkansas Pine-Bluff and Florida A&M, but did not visit either school. Both are on the lower-end of the FCS power rankings and play in leagues not comparable to NDSU’s Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Plus, it didn’t hurt that the Bison just had a quarterback, Carson Wentz, go No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft.
“That was obviously another positive to it,” Hotchkiss said.
Rivals.com gave him a three-star rating in its recruiting evaluation. Scout.com gave him a two-star ranking.

Hotchkiss had some impressive throwing numbers going into postseason last season, according to The Ledger newspaper in Lakeland. He completed 152 of 179 passes (85 percent) for 1,607 yards and 15 touchdowns. This spring, The Ledger in its spring football preview, said head coach Bill Castle is looking for Hotchkiss to take the next step as a leader “and take advantage of his running ability.”
Hotchkiss said his connection to NDSU started this spring when NDSU assistant coach Atif Austin watched practice.
“We stayed in touch since then,” Hotchkiss said. “I didn’t know if they were serious but they said they wanted me to come up there, so me and my mom went up there and loved it.”
There were other quarterbacks at the Bison camp, too, like Jared Taylor from Iowa City, Iowa, the son of former NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor. The 6-4 senior-to-be at Iowa City High, who moved after his freshman year at Fargo Davies, has not determined his college future, Gene Taylor said.
“At this point, Jared is still considering his options but a lot will depend on how this year goes for him,” he said.

Related Topics: COLLEGE FOOTBALL
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