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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 23 2012

Bison ponder kicker's status

FARGO – It’s still a day-to-day proposition if North Dakota State will take the redshirt off of a freshman kicker. Head coach Craig Bohl said he’ll probably go until Thursday before deciding the status of Tom Barneson.

Barneson has been on alert with starting kicker Adam Keller nursing a hamstring injury. Keller has yet to miss a game, but he also didn’t attempt a long field goal last week in a 54-0 win against the University of South Dakota.

“Adam says he’s feeling OK, we’ll see,” Bohl said.

Barneson is a walk-on from Eau Claire, Wis., who the Bison would like to redshirt. But Bohl said Barneson is open to playing this season if pressed into duty.

“He’s got a strong leg,” Bohl said. “He’s developing.”

Bohl said he would like to get away from having punter Ben LeCompte do the kickoff duties.

“I think it’s hurting his punting game a bit,” Bohl said.

Heagle found guilty of minor in possession

Former starting safety Colten Heagle, out for the season with an ACL tear suffered in the second game at Colorado State, was found guilty in Fargo Municipal Court for minor in possession. He was fined $325 and received deferred imposition for six months.

Bohl said Heagle is going through team discipline. He is expected back next season.

Smith moves to safety to help with depth

Freshman C.J. Smith, who made strides at cornerback in fall camp and was seriously considered for a No. 2 backup spot, has been moved to free safety where he may see the field sooner.

With injuries to Heagle and junior strong safety Bryan Shepherd, who was filling in for Heagle, the Bison are looking for some depth. Junior A.J. Van Voorhis is the current backup at both strong and free safety.

“We feel like C.J. has the ability,” Bohl said. “We have to have a backup plan if one of those guys goes down.”

Etc. etc. etc.

The NDSU Student-Athlete Advisory Council annual Bison Children’s Halloween Party will be Sunday from 4-6 p.m. at the Bison Sports Arena. … NDSU retained its top rating Tuesday in the FCS Gridiron Power Index. The Missouri Valley Football Conference had seven teams in the top 25 and was the top conference ahead of the Southern Conference and Big Sky Conference. Southern Illinois, NDSU’s opponent Saturday, was 19th. … Southern Illinois head coach Dale Lennon said starting running back Steve Strother, who was dinged up last weekend, was expected to practice this week and play on Saturday.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia