NDSU's fall game provides showcase for top QB prospect

A fall season lost for North Dakota State QB Trey Lance, one of the top quarterback prospects in college football, isn’t a total loss after all.

NDSU, which announced earlier this month that it would not play fall football amid the COVID-19 pandemic, has scheduled one game against Central Arkansas on Oct. 3, at home, that could prove to be Lance’s final college game. Yahoo Sports first reported the news.

“Due to the challenge (of) completing a full non-conference schedule, we took a pause to consider all our options for this fall, knowing full well it could mean not having the opportunity to play,” NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen stated in a release by the school on Monday. “Upon further consideration, coupled with recent information provided by the NCAA, we felt it was in the best interest of our football program to practice and play one game this fall.”

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Lance (6-foot-3, 226 pounds, per school measurements) has played only one full college season, a 16-0 national championship campaign in 2019 in which he dominated FCS competition as a redshirt freshman, posting a TD-to-INT ratio of 28:0 while also rushing for 1,100 yards and 14 scores. Lance will be three years removed from high school after this year, and thus allowed to file for early eligibility to enter the 2021 NFL Draft.

It’s unclear whether NFL scouts would be able to attend the game, but if not, tape from the contest would nevertheless be heavily scrutinized by NFL clubs as Lance’s only game of the year.

NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah studied three game tapes of Lance from 2019 and drew comparisons to former No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck, describing Lance as “off the charts” in five key areas for quarterbacks: poise, accuracy, decision-making, playmaking and toughness.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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