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Eric Peterson, Published August 17 2013

6-foot-7 Plankers makes big strides on Bison offensive line

FARGO – Jack Plankers may not be much bigger than he was last season, but the massive offensive lineman is better.

The 6-foot-7, 318-pound redshirt freshman took reps at right tackle during Saturday’s North Dakota State football scrimmage at Gate City Bank Field. The scrimmage was closed.

Neither the first-team offense or defense played.

“I thought Plankers did a nice job at the right tackle position,” said Bison head coach Craig Bohl.

Offensive line coach Scott Fuchs said Plankers is backing up both tackle spots right now, and he is also learning the technique to play guard.

“Anyone that can play more than one position, they become a lot more valuable,” Fuchs said.

Plankers is listed around 15 pounds heavier than in his redshirt season, but he’s made a bigger transition in body composition.

“Body-fat percentage, that is where we changed him,” Fuchs said.

A former Kindred (N.D.) High School standout, Plankers is pleased to be back in the mix for playing time after sitting out last season.

“It’s exciting to be able to see the field again,” said Plankers. “I’m not really used to standing on the sidelines.”

That fall on the sidelines, however, helped Plankers transition to life as a college football player and student.

“The first year you come in you don’t know a whole lot. … You don’t know what you are doing,” Plankers said. “My position coach has worked with me on my speed and technique, and I feel like that is where he has helped me the most.”

Long term, Fuchs said Plankers has the ability to settle in at either tackle or guard.

“I like him at tackle,” Fuchs said. “I like his size at guard, too. I think he can play either spot.”

Former Moorhead High star Morlock impresses

True freshman running back Chase Morlock shined during the scrimmage with touchdown runs of 48 and 4 yards.

“Chase Morlock did some great things, which was encouraging,” Bohl said. “He broke a long run and ran away from some people.”

Morlock has also shown flashes as a special teams player, covering kicks and punts. The 6-foot, 198-pound Morlock played linebacker and running back in high school for the Moorhead Spuds.

“He’s done some great things on special teams,” Bohl said. “So for a younger player, from that standpoint, if they can help us on special teams, we’re going to play them.”

Bohl hasn’t yet decided if Morlock will redshirt or play this fall.

True freshman LB DeLuca likely to play

Bohl said true freshman linebacker Nick DeLuca will likely not redshirt this season. The 6-foot-3, 237-pound DeLuca is from Omaha, Neb.

“I would think things would probably look pretty promising that he will not redshirt and he will play,” Bohl said.

Bohl liked what he saw from DeLuca in Saturday’s scrimmage.

“He had a strong presence in the middle, which was encouraging,” Bohl said. “We are also taking a hard look at him on special teams.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com