Photo Courtesy: ESPN

NDSU in the NFL

North Dakota State is an FCS powerhouse, winning nine national championships in the last twelve seasons. However, since 2014 the Bison have had 11 players drafted including two picked in the top 3. In week 1 of the NFL season, 10 former Bison are suiting up for 9 different teams.  Here is a list of those names, where they are playing, and what they are up to with that team.

Billy Turner, right tackle, New York Jets, played for NDSU from 2010-2013

Billy Turner arguably built the pipeline that brings NDSU linemen to the pros. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft. He has bounced around the league playing for the Dolphins, Broncos, Packers, and this year has landed with the Jets. Turner’s relationship with Aaron Rodgers brought Turner to New York to be the backup right tackle to Mehki Becton.

Trey Lance, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys, played for NDSU from 2018-2020

Trey Lance was the most electrifying player NDSU has ever had from the quarterback position, accounting for 42 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He won the Walter Payton Award and was 17-0 as a starter. His NFL career has been a bumpy road so far, to say the least. He was drafted 3rd overall in the 2021 draft by the San Francisco 49ers, but injuries and the emergence of 7th-rounder Brock Purdy made Lance expendable, and was traded to Dallas for a 4th-round pick. Lance is currently the backup to Dak Prescott. Lance needs development, and Dallas believes they are the team to develop Lance into a superstar.

Chris Board, linebacker, New England Patriots, played for NDSU from 2013-2017

Chris Board was a hard-hitting linebacker who was a part of four national championship teams. Board was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018. He spent last season on the Detroit Lions and is now a backup linebacker and special teamer for Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots.

Christian Watson, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers, played for NDSU from 2017-2021

Christian Watson was one of the biggest speed and size threats in the FCS during his time with Bison. Watson was drafted in the second round by the Green Bay Packers. He totaled 41 receptions for 611 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games. He is the #1 receiver in Green Bay’s offense. He sat out week 1 with a bad hamstring but should be available week 2 when the Packers visit the Atlanta Falcons.

Dillon Radunz, tackle, Tennessee Titans, played for NDSU from 2016 to 2020

Dillon Radunz was both Easton Stick’s and Trey Lance’s blindside blockers during his time at NDSU. Radunz was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the 2nd round of the 2021 draft. He played in 12 games as a rookie and started one game. He didn’t play in the Titans’ loss to the Saints in week one but should be back fairly soon.

Easton Stick, quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers, played for NDSU from 2015-2018

Easton Stick is the winningest quarterback in FCS history, 49-3. Stick filled in for Carson Wentz in 2015 and was the full-time starter for three years, winning two titles. Stick was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 5th round of the 2019 draft. He is currently the backup to Justin Herbert.

Cordell Volson, guard, Cincinnati Bengals, played for NDSU from 2016-2021

Cordell Volson played 65 games for the Bison playing mostly tackle. Volson was taken in the 4th round by the Bengals, he was moved inside the guard where he started 16 games and helped the Bengals to the AFC championship game where they lost to the Chiefs. 

Nash Jensen, guard, Carolina Panthers, played for NDSU from 2017-2022

Nash Jensen played an NCAA record 70 games for the Bison. He was an undrafted free-agent pickup by the Carolina Panthers. He is currently in a backup role with the team.

Hunter Luepke, fullback, Dallas Cowboys, played for NDSU from 2018-2022

Hunter Luepke continued the tradition of bruising fullbacks in the NDSU backfield. He was the do everything for the offense playing fullback, running back, tight end, and even slot receiver on rare occasions. Luepke was the most outstanding player of the 2021 national championship game, in which he scored three times, guiding the Bison to a 38-10 win over Montana State. Luepke was a surprise undrafted free agent in the 2023 draft, he was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys. He currently is the starting fullback.

Cody Mauch, guard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, played for NDSU from 2017-2022

Cody Mauch’s luscious red hair was just one part of a guy who started 39 consecutive games for the Bison. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2nd round of the 2023 draft. He started opening day at right guard for the Bucs where he helped the team beat the Minnesota Vikings, 20-17.

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