NDSU’s Dunn heading back to his home state high on confidence
FARGO -- King Frazier is listed as the starting running back for North Dakota State, although there appears to be no question who has the hot hand. The timing couldn't be any better for sophomore Lance Dunn.
FARGO - King Frazier is listed as the starting running back for North Dakota State, although there appears to be no question who has the hot hand. The timing couldn’t be any better for sophomore Lance Dunn.
The next time he carries the ball will be in his home state of Iowa, with his last attempt a walk-off game-winner in overtime against Eastern Washington. And there’s no shortage of motivation in the Saturday, Sept. 17, clash at the University of Iowa.
“They looked at me but didn’t really recruit me,” Dunn said. “They overlooked me so I’m ready to show them what I’m about.”
Dunn was a second team all-state running back at Waterloo West High School, helping the school to back-to-back state playoff appearances for the first time in 20 years. Waterloo is just down the road from Cedar Falls and the University of Northern Iowa, so NDSU had to contend with the Panthers more than anybody else on the recruiting trail.
Growing up, Dunn said he kept tabs on all the state Division I college programs like Iowa, UNI and Iowa State, but wasn’t really a fan of any one team.
“I mean, it would have been nice to go there,” he said of Iowa. “But I’m really proud of the decision I made to come here.”
Dunn is NDSU’s leading rusher after two games with 178 yards on 26 attempts, an average of 6.8 yards per carry. He has the team’s longest run with a 41-yarder against Eastern Washington. His 25-yard burst against the Eagles ended that game on NDSU’s first play in overtime.
“He’s so much more confident this year in seeing the holes and understanding what his keys and reads are,” said NDSU head coach Chris Klieman. “He’s hitting the hole extremely hard. It’s a big game for Lance, to go back home and play an hour and 15 minutes from his family.”
Klieman knows that story angle as well as anybody; he’s from Waterloo. Dunn is one of two players on the Bison roster from the state of Iowa with redshirt freshman linebacker Jake Brinkman from North Liberty the other.
Moreover, Dunn is one of the few Bison players or coaches with previous experience of having been to Kinnick Stadium, which has an atmosphere he said is similar to the Fargodome only bigger. Kinnick has a capacity of 70,585.
“The fans are crazy, just like ours,” Dunn said. “It’s stuck in my mind, I’m eager to play and ready to go. I’m just ready to go out there and continue to play for my brothers. It’s really exciting but at the same time you have to stay calm and make sure you prepare well.”
Up next: North Dakota State at No. 11 Iowa
When: 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 17
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City