(Stats Perform) – That quarterback Trey Lance has never thrown an interception in his North Dakota State career has become a well-known statistic across football – pro and college.
For it to hold up because Lance never throws another pass for the Bison would be a big loss to the program, but it’s a possible scenario given the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speculation that Lance’s NDSU career is over has grown. The Bison’s fall schedule was postponed and the Missouri Valley Football Conference member playing in the spring semester is only a possibility.
Lance is coming off a 2019 season in which he swept the Stats Perform Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year) and Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman of the year). Also, the most outstanding performer in NDSU’s national championship game win, he has been projected multiple times for the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, which will be held in May, when he will be eligible – three classes removed from high school.
Still, another season could boost Lance’s stock. Six of the 10 FBS conferences are playing this fall, and various programs in the upper level of Division I would covet the 6-foot-3, 221-pound dual-threat for a transfer.
“I’m here to help him, I’m going to be as supportive as I can,” Bison second-year coach Matt Entz said on Monday. “Of course, I’d love to see him come back and continue to improve his skill set and develop his game. But at the same time, he needs to do what’s best for him and his family.”
Lance completed one pass as a true freshman in 2018 before throwing 287 without a pick in his first full season last year. He accounted for 3,886 yards of total offense and 42 touchdowns in the 16-0 campaign, all the while becoming an NFL prospect like his predecessors, Carson Wentz and Easton Stick.
Lance’s teammates know a lot rides on his decision, but they’re willing to support him either way.
“I don’t know what Trey is going to do,” said wide receiver Phoenix Sproles, who was part of the same 2018 recruiting class. “Whatever he chooses to decide, I’m supporting him a hundred percent. Whether he stays, great. Whether he leaves, great. He’s a tremendous player. My best friend, so I’m going to be happy for him regardless. Obviously, if I’d love for him to come back.”
Said linebacker Aaron Mercadel: “Trey Lance is above my pay grade. I would honestly tell him what I would tell anybody making any type of decision, make sure you’re doing it for yourself, it’s what you want, not what anybody else wants for you. At the end of the day, we make our own decisions, so whatever he chooses to do, I’ll always support him.”