College Football: Gindorff preps for first NDSU practice

Practice doesn't start until Aug. 1, but Noah Gindorff isn't wasting time becoming acquainted with his new surroundings. Sept. 2 will be the first game of the season for the North Dakota State University Bison. It marks the first step in the team...

Noah Gindorff
Noah Gindorff


Practice doesn't start until Aug. 1, but Noah Gindorff isn't wasting time becoming acquainted with his new surroundings.

Sept. 2 will be the first game of the season for the North Dakota State University Bison. It marks the first step in the team's return to FCS National Championship glory. NDSU will host Mississippi Valley State at the Fargodome. Whether Gindorff makes the field or not is still in question.

The freshman's future hasn't been decided yet. What he does know is he has a locker. His number will be 46 and he will do whatever is necessary to help his new team win.

"I was talking to one of the coaches about whether I'll be redshirted or not, and he said it's their decision if they want to redshirt me or not," Gindorff said. "They said, 'If you think about it, your fifth year will be better than your first year.' That's all the convincing it really took for me. I just really want to be helpful for the team. That's what this is all about."


Gindorff has called the Fargo campus home since June 12. He's taking a chemistry class and working out with the team. It's a slow, steady transition.

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Noah Gindorff

  • College: North Dakota State University
  • Position: Tight end
  • Height: 6-6
  • Year: Freshman
  • High School: Crosby-Ironton
  • Jersey: No. 46

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"They do a really good job here of transitioning us into it," Gindorff said. "Just letting us get acquainted and letting us do our own thing for a little bit. I'm just taking one class, which is easy, but I'm getting used to how a college class will run, which is nice. We're doing weight training and captain's practices and runs. All the older players are patient and helpful. They're just getting us ready."

And Gindorff is doing his part to be ready. The former big man on campus at Crosby-Ironton High School is now one of many. He knew that was going to happen, despite being named to numerous post season prep all-star teams and receiving countless honors for a remarkable senior season and career as a Ranger.

None of that means anything at NDSU, however.

"It's a big change going from our football team knowing the entire offense and knowing everything," Gindorff said. "Then I come in here and I know absolutely nothing. It has been a big change and I'm always just trying to listen to what the older guys have to say. They've done it. They've been in my position and they know what it takes. They know their stuff really well. They're doing a great job of coaching us up so far. I'm just trying to take in as much as I can."


A smart approach for a player, who aside from a few prerequisites, is already a college sophomore with his academic credits. C-I's class salutatorian is finding life as a college football player appealing.

"A lot of time back home in the weight room, it would be me and one other guy or just a coach," Gindorff said. "Now, here, I'm lifting with 20 other guys at a time. I've got like five coaches around us. It's a big change. They hold you to higher standards. Making sure you're doing all the lifts right and showing up on time. You have to be accountable for yourself and they hold you to that every single day."

Gindorff said things are structured well concerning classes, weightlifting, runs and meals. But he added there is still a lot of free time, and that's where responsibility plays a large part.

"There will be punishment if you don't do the things you're supposed to," he said. "It's more intense in that aspect, but you're on your own for a lot of it. You do have a lot free time."

Intense because the standard at NDSU is one thing-to be national champions. NDSU won the title from 2011-15 before falling in last year's semifinals to James Madison University.

Gindorff said it's all the veterans talk about. He said it's all about finishing. If an athlete lets up on a run before the finish line, the whole group is running again. It's not just on the field either. Gindorff said that high standard is in the weight room and classroom. NDSU placed 44 student-athletes on the Missouri Valley Football Conference Honor Roll June 30.

While Gindorff's future is uncertain, he does have a little area that proves he belongs.

"When I saw my locker for the first time, it was pretty cool," Gindorff said. "I'm wearing No. 46 my first year. It's not my first choice, but I just have to have it for this first year. It's pretty cool knowing I have a spot on this team. Just a few lockers down is Nick DeLuca, who will be an NFL draft pick this year. It's cool that I'm in such close proximity and this is my spot. This is where I belong now."


DeLuca was just named to the 2017 Butkus Award watch list. The NDSU linebacker is one of a handful of players helping the freshmen prepare for that first practice.

During 7-on-7 passing drills, which are run by the team's captains and veterans, the entire team will show up and watch.

"The coaches aren't even allowed to be out there with us, but you wouldn't even be able to tell," Gindorff said. "The older guys, the vets as we call them, they do a great job of running the practice and keeping us on time and on schedule. Each time we do those practices, it's a great learning opportunity for all of us. It's one thing if we went in there and see the play on a piece of paper or up on the projector screen as we're watching film, but it's another thing to be able to run it against a live defense."

"That will help us a lot come this fall. We already know so much of the offense already."

And that's Gindorff's game plan for his first season wearing the Green and Gold: to listen, prepare and be accountable.

"I just want to learn as much as possible. We have a great group of older tight ends and they've been very good so far with mentoring us young guys," Gindorff said. "I just want to continue to learn and be around them as much as possible. Listen to everything that coach has to stay and just be ready if they need me."

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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