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NORTH DAKOTA'S NATIONAL RANK
No. 48 pro | No. 44 college | No. 40 high school
Running back Dave Osborne from Cando and the University of North Dakota played 11 years with the Vikings. Jamestown College grad Ron Erhardt was offensive coordinator on 1987 and '91 Giants Super Bowl teams. Steve Myhra, UND alumnus, kicked a field goal for the Colts to send the 1958 NFL Championship Game into overtime and a 23-17 win for Baltimore. Pete Retzlaff from Ellendale caught 47 touchdowns in 11 seasons with Eagles.
There are two sides to North Dakota college football, Sioux and Bison, and when they play it's for the Nickel Trophy. The 75-pound version of the buffalo nickel is out of circulation, but when both teams transition to Division I-AA from Division II, the North Dakota vs. North Dakota State game could re-emerge. Sioux linebacker Jim LeClair made 187 tackles in two seasons before playing for the Bengals. Bison QB Jeff Bentrim started in four D-II championship games and won three from 1983-86.
North Dakota fan Chris Chris Gessele:
North Dakota football passion is defined by a surge of adrenaline and an involuntary shout of appreciation for a great defensive hustle effort. Even a 20-below wind chill isn't enough to keep hands in the pockets when the home team picks up seven yards on a running play. Read more from Chris
For years the North Dakota vs. North Dakota State match-up was the best little-known rivalry in sports. The state has fewer than 700,000 people, but they feed the rosters of these two successful programs. Spring 2006 DI signees: zero. Fall 2006 high school football teams: 109.
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