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Injured Tanguay already looking at attacking rehabilitation on knee

FARGO--Something happened to his knee in practice during the week, Nate Tanguay said, that didn't feel right. Unfortunately, it may have been some sort of precursor for what was to come for the North Dakota State defensive tackle.

North Dakota State defensive lineman Nate Tanguay is sidelined for the season after suffering a knee injury in last Saturday's, Nov. 5, game against Youngstown StateDavid Samson / The Forum
North Dakota State defensive lineman Nate Tanguay is sidelined for the season after suffering a knee injury in last Saturday's, Nov. 5, game against Youngstown StateDavid Samson / The Forum

FARGO-Something happened to his knee in practice during the week, Nate Tanguay said, that didn't feel right. Unfortunately, it may have been some sort of precursor for what was to come for the North Dakota State defensive tackle.

The play against Youngstown State last Saturday, Nov. 5, wasn't anything out of the ordinary. He was pushing on a Penguin offensive lineman while trying to get to the quarterback. Tanguay turned, sort of twisted. And he just buckled to the turf.

He tried to get up and walk, but his knee wanted no part of that. He fell back to the ground, took off his helmet and slammed it to the Gate City Bank Field turf in frustration.

"I just looked up at the ceiling and everything got quiet," Tanguay said.

He said he knew almost immediately what happened. He heard a pop and then the hurt zipped through his body like a lightning bolt, a feeling of pain he never experienced before in football. The NDSU medical team immediately rushed the field. Head coach Chris Klieman wasn't far behind.

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An MRI later revealed an ACL tear and and a partial meniscus tear. The hope is to have surgery next week if the swelling goes down but Tanguay said that procedure can't happen soon enough. He's ready to start attacking rehabilitation.

This week, there was no hint of feel-sorry-for-me in his demeanor.

"I'm feeling pretty positive, honestly," Tanguay said. "It sucks but I'm going to coach the guys, help out, get into lift and do all the things that I love. I've been getting a lot of help from a ton of people-a ton of support. People are texting me left and right positive things, so how can you not be positive when you have that many people supporting you?"

Tanguay is the second standout NDSU defensive player to go down this season along with middle linebacker Nick DeLuca. Tanguay joked with DeLuca that they'll have plenty of time to play the John Madden pro football video game the morning of Bison game days.

"He and I will be back stronger than before," Tanguay said.

Tanguay's absence means junior Grant Morgan will get the start Saturday when the Bison host Indiana State in the last regular season home game. Morgan was effective against Youngstown with three tackles, one for lost yardage, and a pass breakup at the line of scrimmage.

It's been a steady climb in the depth chart for Morgan, from Oshkosh, Wis. He redshirted in 2013 and saw spot duty in the last two seasons. He called the last several days a rollercoaster, feeling for his defensive tackle mate's injury but at the same time preparing to do the job against Indiana State.

"I think he's a little down now, just the initial shock of the injury," Morgan said of Tanguay. "I do think he's in good spirits and I know he's very determined to get back. I know he's excited to get the surgery over with so he can start rehabbing. He's very determined and motivated. He's an intense guy and I know he'll bring a lot of energy."

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Indiana State at No. 4 North Dakota State

When: 2:30 p.m.

Where: Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome

TV: KVLY, ESPN3. Radio: 107.9-FM

North Dakota State defensive lineman Nate Tanguay is sidelined for the season after suffering a knee injury in last Saturday's, Nov. 5, game against Youngstown StateDavid Samson / The Forum
North Dakota State defensive lineman Nate Tanguay is sidelined for the season after suffering a knee injury in last Saturday's, Nov. 5, game against Youngstown StateDavid Samson / The Forum

Related Topics: CHRIS KLIEMAN
Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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