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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 19 2013

Bison nab recruit who originally gave verbal to Pittsburgh

FARGO – Certainly, North Dakota State’s recruiting battles with FBS schools over the years is not as good as its record on the field. NDSU is also not getting shut out, either.

This week, the Bison got a verbal commitment from tight end Marcus Collins from Madison, Wis. The notable nugget is Collins had verbally committed to FBS University of Pittsburgh in July, but changed his mind after re-evaluating his situation, he said.

“I had to question, ‘Am I making the best decision for me?’” Collins said. “Everybody has to find the best place for themselves. I just want to play football at the next level and it doesn’t matter if it’s FBS, FCS, D-II or D-III. I decided that going FCS, being at a powerhouse like NDSU, was the best situation for me.”

Pitt wasn’t his only FBS offer. Collins, from La Follette High School in Madison, said he had tenders from the University of Toledo, Air Force and Army. He said Illinois State, Butler and Drake also offered.

“NDSU has been there all along through the entire process,” Collins said. “It was a lot to handle but not every decision out there is going to be easy. Basically you go with what you feel and the tradition at NDSU was ideal for me.”

Collins will be the third recruit from Wisconsin in two years who had FBS offers. Defensive linemen Nick Jacobsen from Prescott (Pitt) and Nathan Tanguay from Mukwonago (Army) are redshirting this season.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Collins said NDSU is looking at him as a pass-catching tight end. But La Follette head coach Mike Harris said Collins also has potential as a defensive lineman. His father is a defensive line coach for La Follette.

“He can cover sideline to sideline faster than any athlete I’ve had,” Harris said. “He goes at it aggressively and the combination of his height and range makes him a versatile athlete. I’m curious where the Bison will play him.”

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

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia