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Jeff Kolpack, Published July 19 2012

Bison turn to familiar places to kick off 2013 football recruiting class

FARGO – The recruiting gun has sounded at North Dakota State. And the Bison took a familiar route getting a commitment, from a small-town player within close proximity of campus.

Jarrod Tuszka, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound versatile player from Warner, S.D., was one of two verbals first reported for the 2013 recruiting class on Thursday. He picked NDSU over Minnesota-Duluth, although several other schools were in the mix, he said.

“I just loved how the community is behind them,” Tuszka said. “And it’s three hours from home, so that’s not so bad.”

Warner is located just south of Aberdeen in the north-central part of the state.

NDSU went into familiar territory for a defensive lineman, getting a verbal from 6-5, 250-pound Grant Morgan from Oshkosh, Wis. He picked the Bison over offers from Central Michigan, a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision school that plays in the Mid-American Conference, and Southern Illinois, according to Oshkosh North head coach Chris Kujawa.

Morgan went to camps at all three schools. Kujawa said that when NDSU offered, Morgan opted against attending a couple of other camps.

“Incredible work ethic and huge heart,” Kujawa said. “He is the salt of the earth and one of the most loyal young men I’ve ever had.”

Tuszka is a linebacker and running back, but his projected position in college may be defensive end, he said. He had a productive performance at the NDSU summer camp, which led to a scholarship offer.

“I guess I tested pretty well,” he said. “This has been a fun experience, and I’m glad I don’t have that where-you-going-to-college thing hanging over my head during the season.”

Tuszka runs a 4.62-second 40-yard dash, according to his online recruiting profile.

Meanwhile, NDSU is hot on another small-town prospect in the area. Wyndmere-Lidgerwood’s Jeff Illies, who at almost 6-6 and more than 200 pounds has a similar build to Tuszka, received a scholarship offer, according to W-L head coach Scott Strenge.

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

Kolpack is the host of the WDAY Golf Show Saturdays from 8-9 a.m. on 970-AM.