FARGO, N.D. (AP) — New North Dakota State head coach Chris Klieman on Wednesday said the departure of previous head coach Craig Bohl and most of his staff to Wyoming did not cost the Bison on the recruiting trail, or in this case the re-recruiting trail.
"We got the kids we wanted," Klieman said in announcing a new crop of 21 scholarship recruits who signed national letters of intent, including 20 freshmen and one transfer from Nebraska, where Bohl played and honed his coaching skills before leading the Bison to three straight Football Championship Subdivision titles.
"And most importantly, if you ask anyone on our team, you've got to want to be a Bison," Klieman continued. "There's something special about being a Bison and none of us as coaches are going to beg a kid to come here. This group of guys, they all wanted to be here."
The Bison have plenty of room on their roster with the loss of 24 seniors. The new class includes 13 players projected to play on offense and eight on defense. The only quarterback to sign, Easton Stick of Omaha, Neb., was considered a high priority after setting several records at Creighton Prep School.
"He came to our (summer) camp and lit it up. He did an unbelievable job at our camp," Klieman said of Stick. "It was really a no-brainer as our staff in the quarterback position. We always try to take one a year and he was the guy we had tagged and earmarked as the guy we wanted."
Stick's favorite wide receiver at Creighton Prep, RJ Urzendowski, also signed with the Bison. Klieman said Stick and Urzendowski, who caught 70 passes his senior year, were not guaranteed as a package deal and coaches worked hard to land both players.