5 players to watch for Bison football opener
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 15:08
If none of you have heard, there is a football game this weekend. The Bison open their highly anticipated season Saturday against Robert Morris. The game, sold out for the last month, is going to be one of the most memorable openers in NDSU history. Whether it’s the expanded tailgating section, the new Astroturf making its debut, the national championship banner being revealed, or the 2012 Bison team coming out of the locker room after the countdown, the Fargodome will be electric all day. After all these shenanigans are done, it is game time. NDSU returns many faces that will be recognizable to fans. However, there are several players who will be seen making plays that fans may need to check their program for. I’m here to help. Here are my top five players to watch for Saturday against Robert Morris.
5. # 34 Grant Olson
Many fans are familiar with the name Grant Olson, but some may not be used to seeing him on the field. Stricken by injuries last season, Olson was limited in his contributions to the team. Considered the heir apparent of four-year starter Preston Evens, Olson now has the chance to showcase his talent as he mans this talented defense at the middle linebacker spot. Fans should expect to see #34 all over the field Saturday.
4. #59 Joe Haeg
As a redshirt freshman, Joe Haeg has the shoes of All-American right-tackle Paul Cornick to fill. As a walk-on at NDSU, Haeg’s name will not be recognizable to many fans. Craig Bohl and his coaching staff, however, found promise in the six-foot six-inch, 280-pound lineman. Pounding the ball and protecting QB Brock Jensen are essential for the Bison to have a successful year. Haeg will be a big part in making sure that happens.
3. #2 Brendin Pierre
After seeing playing time his freshman year, Pierre did not hit the field once last year. Academic problems led to a suspension from the team. However, Pierre is back, and Bison fans better prepare themselves for possibly the best set of cornerbacks in the FCS. Pierre’s talent may be close in comparison to preseason All-American’s Marcus Williams. Robert Morris will try their best to avoid Williams and that means Pierre will see plenty of action in his first game since the suspension.
2. #82 Zach Vraa
The former Mr. Football player from Rosemount High School, Vraa has battled collarbone injuries during his time at NDSU. Now healthy, Vraa is ready to show Bison fans how big of a target he can be at wide receiver. NDSU is in need of a downfield threat after Warren Holloway graduated. Vraa, with incredible leaping ability, will be seen making plays deep into the secondary and should be Jensen’s number target in the red zone.
1. #23 John Crockett
I’m sure almost all Bison fans have heard Crockett’s name during fall camp, but literally no one has seen him in a collegiate game. Crockett has sat out the last two years due to academics. Now, the playmaking running back is ready to electrify the Fargodome after quickly being named the No. 2 back behind Sam Ojuri. Being recruited by almost every Big Ten school, no one should question his talent. Once Crockett has fully shaken off the rust, get ready for the best duo of running backs NDSU has seen in a long tim