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Tom Mix, Published December 05 2012

Wyndmere-Lidgerwood's Illies gives verbal to Bison football

FARGO – Wyndmere-Lidgerwood senior tight end Jeff Illies verbally committed to play football at North Dakota State on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-5 Illies is a two-time North Dakota, 9-man all-state selection.

“He has the skill set to play Division I,” Wyndmere-Lidgerwood head coach Scott Strenge said. “He has great hands and has solid speed, but the intangibles are what sets him apart from other kids … He’s a coach on the field. He hates to lose.

“Out of the four years he was a starter for us, we won three region championships and the year we didn’t, we won a state championship. He is a winner.”

In the four years Illies started for Wyndmere-Lidgerwood, the Warbirds were 40-6. The Warbirds won a 9-man state championship in 2010.

Illies helped W-L to a 9-2 record and a Region 1 championship this fall.

NDSU offered Illies a scholarship in June. Illies also had a scholarship offer from Minnesota State Moorhead among others.

“The Bison are already big down here, but they just got a lot bigger now with Jeff going there” Strenge said. “It’s a great opportunity for him. He felt comfortable with NDSU and we are happy for him.”

Illies also started at defensive end for the Warbirds.

NDSU has qualified for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs the last three seasons. The Bison are the defending FCS national champions.

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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562