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Jeff Kolpack, Published March 06 2014

Bison starting center Colville retires due to injuries

FARGO – After four surgeries and the prospect of another one, Josh Colville’s right knee gave him two words of advice: That’s enough.

The starting center on the North Dakota State football team was forced to give up the game after two seasons, the result of a bone defect that caused him nothing but problems throughout his career. He said he thought about quitting prior to last season, but decided to give it one more shot.

“And it got so swollen and painful,” he said.

So after discussions with head coach Chris Klieman, offensive line coach Conor Riley and the Bison team doctor, which included another MRI, the decision wasn’t that hard, he said.

“If I play next year, I may need a knee replacement within five years, and that’s something I did not want to do,” said Colville, who was redshirt sophomore last season. “I have so much more time ahead of me, and I want to do the things that I want to do and not be limited.”

The decision was not a surprise, Riley said.

“He absolutely toughed it out toward the latter part of the season,” Riley said. “He knew he was facing a difficult decision. We understand Josh’s situation and his well-being in the future. That’s much more important, and Josh is doing really well in school right now. It’s tough to see him go.”

His departure puts senior Jesse Hinz as the No. 1 contender to start.

Hinz has some isolated starting experience since his freshman season. But like Colville, he’s battled injuries in his career, too.

“Spring (football) will be huge for him and the ability to stay healthy,” Riley said.

Riley said senior Zac Johnson from Fargo South and senior Adam Schueller from Fergus Falls, Minn., will get a good look at center. Beyond that, he said the Bison will also have to develop a center for the future.

Possibilities include redshirt freshman guards Zack Ziemer and Austin Kuhnert.

“Somebody has to step up and learn the position, be the jack of all trades,” Riley said. “My philosophy for the young interior guys is you’ll play where you’re needed.”

Wisconsin lineman signs Bison letter of intent

NDSU got a letter of intent Wednesday night from defensive tackle Brandon Hines from Homestead High School in Mequon, Wis. He’s listed at 6-foot-2, 280 pounds according to Rivals.com.

Homestead is a successful program that went 12-1 last season. Rivals listed Illinois State, South Dakota and North Dakota as schools that made offers.

Ferge, Fortier on ballot for College Hall of Fame

Jim Ferge, a first-team All-American from a pioneering era in Bison football, was added to the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday.

A linebacker and defensive tackle, he was an All-American in 1967 and 1968 and was named the most valuable lineman in the North Central Conference in 1968.

Former Bison player and Minnesota State Moorhead head coach Ross Fortier is on the ballot on the coach’s list.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia