Following his stellar first year leading the team on the field, Trey Lance has been getting more attention than any of his predecessors after their first years. That attention is partly due to the continuity that the team has managed to have since Brock Jenson. Being the latest in the lineage isn't the only reason he's had articles written about him by non-local news entities and draftniks already projecting him as a first-round selection though. He's the total package and performing during his second year like he did his first would only add to the likelihood of him being able to do the unthinkable.
I'm not rooting for him to go, that would be crazy. Just as crazy as would be a sophomore from 1AA being a top 20 pick. As they've shown though, there's a good chance that the next guy in line will be able to hold his own.
Here's kicker, there's a larger point to be made in this post.
And I'm fixing to get to it
Aside from quarterback, the other position that may be the most yeast during evaluations is offensive line. The demand for excellence at that area is almost as high as at Quarterback, since it takes at least five every game to keep the defense at bay. Well NDSU also has a highly regarded tackle who will be going through the evaluations next Spring due to graduation, not choice. Dillon Radunz is well known by those who follow the team and he's also gotten some buzz surrounding him going into his last year at the Dome. He'll have to prove himself in whatever after the season events he is a part of, but there's one other name to mention before the main point.
The dearly departed demon of the defense, Jabril Cox. When he goes into the NFL he may have LSU attached to his name but NDSU found him and helped him get to the point in which he was able to join the creme de la creme of college football. One evaluator had him as a third-round pick if he had made the leap in this past draft. That doesn't mean anything because some people said the same thing about Derrek Tuszka and that didn't happen. A key difference, of course, is that Jabril will be adding a year of SEC training & film to his resume. So Cox would almost surely avoid a similar slide and on the contrary would very possibly rise from the third round up to the top 32.
So what's my point of all this?
Maybe you figured it out already.
But in the event that you didn't, here it is:
If the season happens, if those three big-time players stay healthy & all play to their capability then the herd may end up with three players having their names called on day one of the 2021 draft. There are plenty of ifs and I'll say it again, I'd rather see Lance supplant Stick as the winningest quarterback. But I won't let that blind me to the fact that an opportunity like that may not last so if he takes it, cheers. Even if he sticks around for his junior year there's a really chance that those other two could get drafted that high which would still be an astounding development for the juggernaut.
All of which ignores the biggest if of all right now.
Until it's announced otherwise, I'm going forward like there will be Football on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the Fall!
In the meantime, it doesn't hurt to speculate & dream about some more hard-to-imagine accomplishments by members of the program.