NCF On The Trail: North Dakota State Bison

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: The numbers continue to show the SEC dominates college football recruiting; North Dakota State could be a thorn in the side of Big 12 teams on the recruiting trail; and even though NC State lost to Clemson last week, it made a big impression with one of the nation’s top defenders.

The Class of 2014 recruiting scoreboard continues to show the dominance of the SEC. So far SEC schools have commitments from 83 recruits in the ESPN 300. To put it in perspective, you would have to combine the ACC (39), Big 12 (25) and Big Ten (24) to get more ESPN 300 commits than the SEC. The SEC also has an astounding 106 four-star recruits committed to its schools, which is 44 more than ACC, 62 more than the Big 12 and 77 more than the Pac 12. The ACC -- headlined by impressive hauls by Florida State and Miami -- is the conference closest to the SEC. The ACC and the SEC are the only conferences at this point that have two five-star recruits committed to league teams.

Illinois secures LB Austin Roberts

June, 14, 2013
Class of 2014 inside linebacker Austin Roberts (Rice Lake, Wis./Rice Lake) committed Thursday to sign with the Illini, multiple sources report.

Roberts was heavily recruited by non-BCS, FCS and Ivy League schools. Air Force, Army, Central Michigan, Columbia, Harvard, Illinois State, North Dakota State, Pennsylvania, South Dakota State, Wyoming and Yale extended offers to the 6-foot-3, 230-pound prospect.

He registered 152 total tackles, seven sacks and an interception during his junior campaign.

Illinois now has six pledges.
After seeing Iowa State the first time, Hartland (Wis.) Arrowhead outside linebacker Sam Seonbuchner knew he wanted to make a return trip.

When he did, he decided he had seen enough.

Seonbuchner committed to the Cyclones on Saturday while on his second visit to the campus this spring, giving Iowa State its fourth commitment of the 2014 class.

"I visited back in March for spring practice and visited the school and came away very impressed with everything," Seonbuchner said. "I wanted to go back, which [I did] today. I was even more impressed [with] the facilities, the coaches, academics, everything they have to offer. I knew I was ready to make a decision, and I committed."

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound prospect also held offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, North Dakota State and Ohio. He also held interest from Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Penn State and Wisconsin. Seonbuchner was recruited by Iowa State defensive graduate assistant Derek Day.

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Clarence Smith makes school history 

January, 27, 2013
Senior athlete Clarence Smith (Buckeye, Ariz./Youngker) is set to play in the Pac-12 for Utah, multiple sources report. According to, he will be Youngker High School's first-ever FBS player.

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NIU lands tight end Shane Wimann 

August, 23, 2012
Shane Wimann, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound tight end from Wisconsin Dells, Wis., has committed to sign as part of Northern Illinois' Class of 2013, multiple sources report.

According to, Central Michigan, Illinois State, North Dakota and North Dakota State also extended scholarship offers to Wimann.

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6-foot-4, 215-pound linebacker prospect Jack Cottrell (Eden Prairie, Minn.) has pledged to sign with the ACC Eagles, reports.

Boston College was Cottrell's only scholarship offer but Iowa State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa, Western Michigan, Harvard, North Dakota, North Dakota State and South Dakota State were showing interest.

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Two-star running back C.J. Brathwaite (West Bloomfield, Mich.) is once again FBS-bound after verballing to Kent State, multiple sources report.

He originally committed to Washington State but had his scholarship offer pulled following the Cougars' coaching change.

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Sleeper ends the process 

January, 22, 2012
North Dakota State has landed a commitment from under-the-radar center Austin Farnlof (Anthem, Ariz./Boulder Creek), according to multiple sources.

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Offensive tackle Ben Lauer (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) will not have to travel too far for college after committing to Minnesota, reports.

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Wide receiver Demetrius Gray (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) never considered going to North Dakota State for college, but he quickly changed his mind after visiting the campus for a game, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports.

"The Fargodome was almost too loud to be honest. It felt like a Big 12 or Big Ten type of game and atmosphere. Everyone in town goes to the Bison games in Fargo and it's almost like an NFL team, because the players are like celebrities there."

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