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Jeff Kolpack, Published January 04 2011

College football: Bismarck Century QB Wentz gives NDSU verball commitment

North Dakota State missed out on Fargo Shanley offensive lineman Connor McGovern. The Bison, however, closed the borders to Carson Wentz.

The quarterback from Bismarck Century became the school’s first in-state football verbal commitment, taking NDSU in an apparent competitive battle with South Dakota State, Southern Illinois and the University of North Dakota. McGovern, the state’s top prospect, committed to Missouri.

Wentz said Central Michigan of the Mid-American Conference was scheduled to visit his Bismarck home with a possible offer next week.

“But I told them I made my decision,” he said.

His decision means NDSU will bring in two quarterbacks in the same recruiting class for the first time since 2005. The Bison signed Nick Mertens from East Grand Forks, Minn., and Mitch Brecke from Plymouth, Minn., that year.

Wentz was 91 of 149 passing for 1,285 yards and 12 touchdowns this fall. He added 553 yards rushing.

Wentz became a hot prospect as the high school season progressed, in part because he didn’t play quarterback as a junior after breaking his hand early in the season. He was used mainly as a receiver.

“A lot of colleges were late on him because they had no film on him as a junior,” said Century head coach Ron Wingenbach.

Wentz, a 4.0 student, said NDSU’s reputed architecture program played a part in his decision. The fact his older brother, standout baseball player Zach Wentz, was at NDSU wasn’t a big factor. Not as much, he said, as the Bison’s run in this year’s Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

“I feel like a national championship is a reasonable goal,” he said. “I felt that way more than any other program.”

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Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970).

He can be reached at

(701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia