NDSU Football Seniors “Given Floor” to Say Speeches After Friday’s News of No Fall Season

NDSU reached out to over 100 programs

FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota State football reached out to over 100 programs in attempts to play this fall. Only one unnamed school agreed in traveling to Fargo. Looking for three opponents ultimately lead to the decision of not playing until what hopes to be the spring.

Looking to 2021 presents more questions than answers especially about eligibility, seniors returning  and players opting out.

The bison have 18 seniors on the roster. All have been invited back by head coach Matt Entz in the spring. One, sixth-year linebacker Aaron Mercadel, said he’s ready to move on.

After the Oregon game was canceled, seniors had the sense no games would be played.

On Friday, once the news was delivered — Coach Entz left the floor open to those seniors who wanted to leave a lasting message.

“My message to the team was just control what you can control and that everyone is always chasing the stats and wanting to be the best team in Bison history,” Mercedal said. “I promised them this will be the strongest football team in Bison history because were going to come back from this stronger than anybody in Bison history.

“For us to be able to not realize the potential that this team had, it really hurts,” linebacker Jackson Hankey said. “To see those guys lose their season seniors so abruptly, that one was really difficult.”

Those older guys in the room. They taught me a lot about what I know now and Trevor (Heit), getting close with him, receiver Phoenix Sproles said. “It hurts that I can’t see them live out there potentially last time playing football ever. It just hurts me. I wouldn’t want to go through that and I can’t imagine what they’re going through. I just said I play for you guys now so they can live their careers through me.”

The team has a couple weeks off before returning to workouts.

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