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Half of Bison senior class get NFL chances

FARGO -- North Dakota State had 14 seniors on its football roster last season, and seven of those players will get NFL chances.The fifth-year seniors in that class were in the program for NDSU's five consecutive Division I FCS national championships.

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North Dakota State’s Andrew Bonnet celebrates his 8-yard touchdown with teammates Joe Haeg (59) and Luke Albers (88) against Jacksonville State Jan. 9 during the NCAA FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas. (FNS Photo by David Samson)

FARGO - North Dakota State had 14 seniors on its football roster last season, and seven of those players will get NFL chances.
The fifth-year seniors in that class were in the program for NDSU's five consecutive Division I FCS national championships. The Bison had a 71-5 record in that five-year span.
The headliner is quarterback Carson Wentz, who the Philadelphia Eagles drafted No. 2 overall. Offensive tackle Joe Haeg was also drafted. The remaining five players were either signed as undrafted free agents or invited to minicamps.
While the undrafted players face long odds to make an NFL roster, they’re still getting a chance. Former Bison players like cornerback Marcus Williams and running back John Crockett are examples of undrafted players who made NFL teams. Williams is with the New York Jets and Crockett is with the Green Bay Packers.
Below is a look at those seven Bison players from this past year’s senior class:
Drafted
-- Carson Wentz, QB: The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Wentz became the first NDSU player drafted in the first round.
-- Joe Haeg, OT: The 6-foot-6, 305-pound Haeg went from college walk-on to four-year starter at NDSU to NFL Draft pick. The Indianapolis Colts selected Haeg in the fifth round.
Undrafted
-- Andrew Bonnet, FB/TE: Bonnet played fullback and tight end for the Bison. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Bonnet signed with the Carolina Panthers. His versatility could give him a chance to make the roster.
-- C.J. Smith, CB: Smith signed with the Philadelphia Eagles after the draft. The 5-foot-11, 188-pound Smith is hoping to follow a similar path as former Bison cornerback Marcus Williams. Williams was also undrafted and now has made a home with the New York Jets the past two seasons. Williams had six interceptions in 2015.
-- Lucas Albers, TE: The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Albers was a valuable run blocker for the Bison, who caught five touchdowns in his last two seasons at NDSU. Albers received a minicamp invite from the Arizona Cardinals.
-- Jeremy Kelly, OL: The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Kelly got a minicamp invite from the Atlanta Falcons. Kelly played in 31 games for the Bison in his final two seasons in the program.
-- Ben LeCompte, P: The All-American punter got minicamp invites from two NFL teams, the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings. LeCompte would appear to have a better chance to stick with the Vikings. Minnesota punter Jeff Locke ranked near the bottom of the league in average and net average last season.

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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