Killdeer Cowboys Zeb Doe, Derek Tabor, along with Dickisnon High Midgets Tanner Binstock, sign to Dickinson State Blue Hawks football

As childhood friends growing up in Killdeer, Derek Tabor and Zeb Doe didn't have to go very far to play football together.And after all these years, that won't change anytime soon.Killdeer football players Tabor and Doe signed their NAIA letters ...

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Killdeer football players Zeb Doe, left, and Derek Tabor, right, sign their NAIA letters of intent to play football for Dickinson State Wednesday night at Weinbergen Hall on DSU’s campus. The two helped the Cowboys to two Class 1A state championship appearances in the past two seasons. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)

As childhood friends growing up in Killdeer, Derek Tabor and Zeb Doe didn’t have to go very far to play football together.
And after all these years, that won’t change anytime soon.
Killdeer football players Tabor and Doe signed their NAIA letters of intent to play for the Dickinson State football team Wednesday night at Weinbergen Hall on DSU’s campus. Dickinson High senior Tanner Binstock also signed his letter of intent Wednesday afternoon.
Tabor and Doe were both integral parts of the last two Cowboys seasons that ended with appearances in the North Dakota Class 1A state championship games.
“They’re not only local guys, but guys that can play and have a great desire to play,” DSU head coach Pete Stanton said. “They’ve had great high school careers and definitely have a bright future.”
Tabor, who said it was an “awesome feeling” signing next to his childhood friend, played mostly running back and outside linebacker for Killdeer, but is expected to play strong safety and possibly wide receiver for the Blue Hawks.
“Football has been a big part of my life,” Tabor said. “I love football, so to be able to be good enough to go to the next level, that’s awesome.”
On offense, Tabor has rushed for nearly 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns and caught 12 passes for 186 yards and four TDs in 2015. Tabor also racked up about 60 tackles, eight tackles for loss and five sacks.
“He runs with the ball well in the open field. He is aggressive and a good tackler,” Stanton said. “He’s just a relentless player.”
Doe talked to other schools but was attracted by Stanton’s passion in the recruitment process. He said football became a heavy part of his life - to him, there’s winter, spring, summer and football season - so to keep that keep that in his life was vital.

“I’m just glad I get the opportunity to take it to the next level and get better at the game,” Doe said. “It’s an amazing game. If you’ve got an opportunity to get better, why wouldn’t you take that opportunity?”
In 2015, Doe collected about 90 tackles, 11 for loss, and 1.5 sacks. Doe also totaled over 700 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns as well as over 100 receiving yards. While Doe played fullback and linebacker for Killdeer, Stanton recruited him mostly to be a linebacker.
“We see him as a linebacker who really played well all year and is physical, plays hard, aggressive and passionately,” Stanton said. “He’s a guy with a high motor, is very physical and athletic.”
Doe and Tabor will also be joining Lewis Dobitz and Trenton Rohr: both Killdeer graduates who will be entering their redshirt freshman seasons with the Blue Hawks.
“We’ve always had their guidance in high school,” Doe said. “It will be like another four years again, except at the next level.”
Tabor added: “You’ve got people that you know here. It’s a great feeling.”
Added to that Killdeer connection will be Binstock, who was an offensive and defensive lineman for the Midgets his past two seasons. He joins Dickinson seniors Quaid Larsen, Drew Heiser, Jacob Weidner and Dual Keck, who signed their letters of intent to play with DSU in December. Keck and Heiser are expected to play offensive line and Larsen at defensive line.
“It’s really nice to play with all my teammates and all my line buddies on offense and defense,” Binstock said. “It made it a lot easier for coming here.”
Binstock, a 6-foot-3, 240-pound two-way starter, helped the Midgets to a third-place finish in the Class 3A West Region regular season and an appearance in the state quarterfinals.
“He really came on and had a strong senior year this year,” Stanton said. “The thing we like with Tanner is his size. … In watching him this year, he started to stand out. In talking to his high school coaches, he made great strides and improved.”
Stanton said the Binstock family has heavy roots with DSU, which made it all the better getting his signature.
“It is my hometown and all my family went there - a lot of my family,” Binstock said. “It’s just a good football program. I’ve seen it been down and been built back up, and it’s a good school.”
Another bonus, Binstock said, is that if he ever needs a good meal, he won’t be too far from home.
“It’s definitely the sport I love the most, and the team and everything about it,” Binstock said. “There’s nothing that you can compare to it, being around a good fun team. There’s nothing like it.”
While Doe said that joining a winning program was a benefit, the bonds he wanted to form with his future teammates was truly a deciding factor.
“I liked a lot of the players, and we met a few of the guys,” Doe said. “I think that was even bigger yet than a winning season. That was just an added bonus.”
Tabor, who has attended Blue Hawks game since he was young, said he looked forward to the chance to join the team.
“It’s exciting to actually be a part of the organization and program,” Tabor said. “They know us, and DSU just felt more like home.”

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