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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 24 2013

Kolpack: Nebraska is the new Texas for Bison recruiting


It’s been six years since Reggie Moore left his position as an assistant football coach at North Dakota State. He was a well-respected wide receivers coach who opened a recruiting pipeline to Texas.

Every year, Reggie brought in a few kids who didn’t get the Big 12 or SEC offer they were hoping for and offered them a chance at FCS football.

The problem with the Texas connection was there were at least equally more misses than hits. For every Warren Holloway, Richard Bowman, D.J. McNorton or Nate Agbetola, there was a Jamar Champ, Justin Cash, Josh Hazley-Freeman or Melvin Thomas II – guys that just didn’t work out.

Holloway and McNorton led the Bison to their first FCS national title in 2011. Before Reggie left for UCLA after the 2007 season, in fact, he said look out for the young redshirt freshman Holloway.

He was right.

It’s taken until this year, but the Reggie Moore recruiting connection is officially over.

It’s the first year since 2004 that the Bison do not have a player from Texas on their roster.

The Lone Star state has been replaced.

When it comes to NDSU recruiting, Nebraska is the new Texas – the state where the Bison try to pluck at least two or three players from the jaws of an FBS school. In most cases, that would be the University of Nebraska.

“They all can’t go to Nebraska, and Nebraska is not going to offer all of them scholarships,” said NDSU assistant coach Steve Stanard.

Stanard played and coached at Nebraska. He also was defensive coordinator, head coach and athletic director at NAIA Nebraska Wesleyan. Like Reggie’s popularity in the Houston area, Stanard is a Nebraska guy who can relate to the Cornhusker state prospects.

Last week, quarterback Easton Stick from Omaha Creighton Prep joined his teammate, wide receiver R.J. Urzendowski, as Bison verbal commitments. Jalen Allison, a cornerback from Papillion, Neb., also committed.

“Our job is to continue to develop and do a great job evaluating down there,” Stanard said, speaking in recruiting generality. “If Nebraska doesn’t want to go on them early, we will. Hopefully they commit and stay with us.”

Last February, the Bison signed wide receiver Tyler Wrice and linebacker Nick DeLuca from Omaha. DeLuca is already playing as a true freshman.

The Nebraska emphasis actually started with Bison assistant coach A.J. Cooper, who recruited center Jesse Hinz, safety Christian Dudzik and defensive end Kyle Emanuel three years ago. Safety Bo Liekhus and quarterback Derek McGinnis are redshirt freshmen.

“If we can get two, three or four a year out of there, great,” Stanard said. “Our recruiting focus will always primarily be North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. But it’s great quality football and I don’t say that just because I’m there. They are very football-minded people down there.”

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

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia