The first week of spring practice is in the books for the bison football team and the physicality is just starting to pick up. NDSU held their third padded practice of the spring this afternoon. Now this staff can start finding out what kinds of players they have as they put them in more full contact drills. Head coach Chris Klieman says that's critical at this point of the schedule.
The Bison defense has been a particular point of pride for NDSU throughout their recent success. With former coordinator Klieman moving up to head coach -- new coordinator Matt Entz is working hard in spring ball to build a base with his guys. Of course that's not to say this group is starting from scratch. It's quite the contrary actually as names like Hardie, Emanuel, Beck, Heagle and Dudzik shine bright on the depth chart. But below that there are a lot of young guys and now is the time they'll use to get everyone on the same page.
"We're kind of getting in our base defense," Entz told Valley News Live. "Down the road we'll be getting in to some nickel and we may expand a little bit but going back to it, because of our youth, we don't want to try to put too much in. We want to make sure we're good at our base stuff first."
While everyone isn't participating in spring ball workouts as some still recover from last seasons injuries -- Entz says the teaching veteran players like Colten Heagle are doing is huge in the development of the program. He also added former bison Grant Olson has been active in a similar role.
Valley News Live Sports Reporter Beth Hoole can be reached for story ideas or comment at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter: @bethhooleVNL