FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, who had a record-breaking season last year in leading the Bison to the FCS championship but only played one game this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Tuesday he will bypass the spring season and enter the NFL draft.

Lance announced his decision Tuesday on Twitter. Last year as a redshirt freshman, he set an NCAA record for all divisions by throwing 287 passes without an interception while throwing 28 touchdown passes and running for 14 more scores.

Coach Matt Entz said Tuesday he has spoken recently to several NFL executives. Many experts have predicted that Lance will be a top-five pick in the draft.

“I’m sure Trey and his family have reached out to the same people,” Entz said.

Lance would be the third North Dakota State quarterback drafted in a five-year span. Carson Wentz was selected second overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016 and Easton Stick was drafted in the fifth round by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019.

Lance threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores last Saturday in a 39-28 victory over Central Arkansas, the only game the Bison are scheduled to play this fall. The rest of North Dakota State’s nine-game schedule was postponed to the spring.

“I wanted nothing more than to battle with my brothers this fall and bring home another national championship to North Dakota State,” Lance said in his Twitter post.

Entz said he advised Lance to take his time, but the quarterback quickly decided to declare for the draft.

Asked if there was any benefit in knowing the decision sooner, Entz said, “I don't know how losing an NFL-caliber quarterback makes life easier.”

Lance finishes his college career with a 17-0 record as a starter. Last season, he had 2,786 yards passing and 1,100 yards rushing, setting school records with 3,886 yards of total offense and a 180.6 passer efficiency rating.

“I'm excited for him and am looking forward to following his journey and see how he continues to develop,” Entz said.


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