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Jeff Kolpack, Published June 29 2011

North Dakota football recruiting this year anchored in small towns

FARGO – A quarterback and three big linemen appear to be the most sought-after college football recruits out of North Dakota this summer. All four are from small towns, including two from Harvey.

Quarterback-safety M.J. Stumpf from Harvey and offensive lineman Jack Plankers from Kindred have scholarship offers from North Dakota State. Both recently attended the Bison summer camp that also acts like a recruiting tryout.

The attraction to Plankers is obvious. He’s 6-foot-8 and 310 pounds.

“And he has that intellect and that need to be successful,” said Kindred head coach Cody Kittelson. “I like to say he has that North Dakota mentality where he works his tail off.”

Plankers has also been to camps at the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin. Neither has apparently generated a scholarship yet. Kittelson said Wisconsin was going to call him after the camp but had yet to do so.

Plankers is fully recovered from a partially torn knee ligament that caused him to miss a few games last season, Kittelson said.

“Now he’s ready to go for his last year,” he said.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Stumpf may be the plum of the group. Veteran Harvey head coach Brad Sandy calls him the most physical player he’s coached.

“He’s a hitter,” Sandy said. “He’s an explosive athlete and he is for real. Anybody who’s played us knows who No. 12 is.”

Stumpf passed for 1,342 yards and ran for 660, but his college future may be on defense. He’s a safety for the Hornets, but Sandy indicated NDSU may want him as an outside linebacker.

He had six interceptions as a junior last fall.

His teammate, 6-6, 235-pound lineman Tucker Nordby, has a scholarship offer from the University of North Dakota, Sandy said. His family moved from California to Harvey last year.

“He has the size,” Sandy said.

In the new age of recruiting, Nordby has his own prospect website at www.tuckernordby.com.

Landon Lechler, a 6-7, 230-pound offensive tackle/defensive end from Beach, also moved to North Dakota last year. He came from Baker, Mont.

Lechler, also a basketball player who averaged 23 points and 15 rebounds last winter, told The Dickinson Press newspaper earlier this year that Montana and Montana State talked to him for football.


Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia