Jeff Kolpack, Published April 26 2013
Jensen leads a driven group of Bison football players
It’s been quite a ride, from the heartbreaking quarterfinal loss at Eastern Washington to back-to-back Division I Football Championship Subdivision national titles. He’ll be a senior next fall, although for all practical purposes he already is one.
In college football, your junior year ends on the last play of the season. When the Bison open 2013 at Kansas State on Aug. 30, Jensen will be a rare four-year starter at the position that runs the show.
The Forum sat down with him this week to look behind and look ahead. Here’s Jensen on a few key topics as the Bison finish spring football with the annual Green vs. Gold game today:
E On comparing this spring to his first in 2009: “My head was spinning just like our young guys are doing right now. I remember getting helped along by all the upperclassmen and getting told every other play to just hang in there, it will come. Just don’t get frustrated and try not to make the same mistake twice.”
E On where he needs to get better: “There are a lot of little parts of my game that need work. At quarterback, you can never be good enough, and for me, I just want to work on my feet and improving my pocket movement … and being able to evade pressure in tough situations.”
E On being pushed by backup Carson Wentz: “I always feel like I have to come out each day and prove myself. And Carson is one of those guys who won’t let you slip up. He pushes me every day. Coach Bohl likes to use one of the famous quotes from the Bible: ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’ That’s a perfect quote for me and Carson every day.”
E On being a senior leader: “We don’t have a complacent group but at the same time we have a new team, a new identity and there are a lot of young guys that haven’t played football that are really hungry right now. Our upperclassmen, our seniors, are really a driven group. I think every one of us seniors will tell you right now that we are more hungry that we’ve ever been in our careers to have success in our last year.”
E On the identity of this team: “It’s definitely a work in progress. We have some guys banged up right now and it’s a chance for the young guys to learn the system. They had to sit out a year, work on scout team and you really can’t count that as actually playing football.”
E On ex-Appalachian State head coach Jerry Moore visiting NDSU this week: “It was really inspiring for coach Moore to come over here and share with us what it takes to win a three-peat. It’s hard enough winning one and extremely hard winning two. He talked about making sacrifices. You only get one shot at it, join history with who he coached.”
E On when last season was put behind: “It’s tough to say, you kind of ride that high for a little bit. I know that first lift a couple of weeks after, I was in a group with a lot of us seniors and we were able to put it to rest with that left. It was hard because we were still talking about it and still having fun but it’s important to keep looking forward and realize, OK, we can accomplish something that is very, very, very rare to do and we all want that.”
E On how hard/easy it is to put last season behind: “When we go home, I’m sure people pop in the DVD and just reflect on last year and there’s nothing wrong with that. But at the same time, we have to be mature as a group to realize what’s in front of us. I think we realize that and it’s important to get on board with that.”
Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.
Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found