Let me start by getting a few obvious points out of the way.
The Oh, Duh's
NDSU has a borderline overabundance of Running Backs
Those backs are the best collective in all the FCS
No firm conclusions should be drawn from one open practice where most of the guys are going at half speed and with special rules.
The contradiction that I just made should be considered in light of the fact that so many of the backs got work in and succeeded last season.
NDSU has one of the best fanbases in college Football
The school and team have gotten very good at recruiting.
It's not just about the current players, the alumni are still a big part of the program.
The championship banners are getting full
Okay, now that those are out of the way, here are a few of the less obvious & less definitive things that I saw in the Fargodome on Friday night.
The Four Quarters of Questionable
The season rests on Easton's shoulders in a way that it may not have to this point in his successful career. His young understudies both showed that they have the potential to sling the ball around the field and also to take off on both scripted & unscripted runs. But they are young and neither seemed to be markedly better on the evening. The've both had weeks to prove themselves to the coaches, and that's what counts, but from what I can tell, there isn't another Easton to Carson if the starter goes down.
Both the defense and offense will have to replace GREAT players but as has so often been the case, the new guys seem set to step up and step in. Whether it's in the defensive backfield, along either line or out wide on offense, there is talent in abundance to fill in for the grads.
Speaking of the offense, Easton looked good. He only got some very light work in but it looked to me like the passes that he was allowed to throw had a velocity that the younger guys had not yet developed. I'm far from his biggest fan and am still tapping the brakes on conclusions from the game like action but if he can manage a whole season of on time & on target throws to all parts of the field then I may be proved wrong in my prediction that he isn't going to be drafted. That'll all come later, for now I have to acknowledge how good he looked in the limited duty.
As I alluded to in the obvious statements, NDSU has gotten very good at representing itself to the next generation. Upon arriving at the champs house there was a group of a dozen or so fresh faced young men getting instructions about what was going to happen. It was pretty obvious that they were recruits. With no experiential knowledge of other programs I wouldn't be surprised if every school gets recruits in for the open portion of their Spring. What other programs may not have is the number of fans who show up or ring ceremonies, which I think may be more important to 16/17/18 year olds. If correct, it's a very shrewd move by the coaching staff.
So there you have some of it. The accompanying photos from the time in the champs house will come later, so be sure to connect through one of the many ways that there are available!
Did you see anything else? Anything different? Do you agree or disagree? Speak your words!