Quarterback competition wide open at NDSU

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -- North Dakota State has a quarterback for the first time since Brock Jensen was under center.
Sophomores Holden Hotchkiss and Noah Sanders, Redshirt Freshman Trey Lance and Junior transfer Zeb Noland will all be auditioning for the role of QB1 this fall.

Head Coach Matt Entz said Tuesday before spring practice began the four will share reps during practice to make it and it will be a day-to-day conversation between him, Offensive Coordinator Tyler Roehl, and Associate Head Coach/Quarterbacks Randy Hedberg.

Entz said he's looking for leadership and which guy can control the huddle.
Hedberg on Wednesday reiterated Entz adding he wants the guys to compete.

"In any drill they do, that we do during the course of the day or course of a practice, we want to see who is going to compete and that's the biggest thing we have going for us with the four guys is trying to find out who wants to be the competitive one in the group," Hedberg said.

Hedberg also pointed to ball security as a major focus for him and the staff to evaluate over the course of the 15 spring practices.

"We want to cut down our turnovers from today into Friday and the next day and all that.," Hedberg said. "So I think by mid-season or mid-Spring we'd like to get down so we don't turn over the ball at all and it's a clean game for us and that's what we're trying to get to."

Hotchkiss appeared eight games last season in mostly mop-up duty for the Bison completed four of his eight pass attempts and rushing for one touchdown.

Lance saw action in two games, maintaining his redshirt status under the NCAA's new rule, in mostly the same capacity as Hotchkiss. Lance completed his only pass attempt but rushed for 82 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Sanders appeared in the final regular season game in 2018 for the Bison and filled the role of scout team quarterback for the season.

Noland transferred from Iowa State at semester making him eligible for the upcoming season. While at ISU, Noland appeared in five games throwing for 722 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. His performance against Oklahoma, going 25-36 passing for 360 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in 2018, is the one many fans and even Entz will point to for his potential.

Entz said he would like to know who the quarterback will be heading into Fall Camp.