October 7, 2020 | 2:36pm
Last summer, Trey Lance was fighting just to start for North Dakota State. Now, he’s headed to the NFL as a first-round pick, arguably the most intriguing prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft, coming off a one-game season due to COVID-19 and believing he matches up well with elite quarterback prospects Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.
North Dakota State, an FCS powerhouse that produced Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, ended up playing just one game in the fall, but Lance has opted not to compete in the spring, he told Yahoo Sports, and instead prepare for the draft.
“It’s a little bit mind-boggling for me,” Lance told the website. “It’s been a heck of a ride for the last year. I’ve learned a ton, I’ve grown a ton as a person and a football player. I honestly have to give all the credit to the guys around me, to the strength staff and coaching staff and guys I’ve played with.”
Lance made the decision after scoring four touchdowns — two on the ground and two through the air — in a 39-28 win over Central Arkansas, finishing his career with a 17-0 record as a starting quarterback. The 6-foot-4, 228-pound Lance will enter the draft with just one interception, 30 touchdown passes, and two national titles.
“This was the hardest decision I ever had to make in my life, without a doubt,” Lance said. “It comes down to me feeling ready and praying about it as much I can and feeling like I have a solid handle on everything.”
Most experts believe Lawrence will be the first pick in the draft and Fields will be the second quarterback taken. Both will play a full fall season. But Lance is looking forward to showing what he can do.
“I’ve very confident in myself and my ability both from a mental and physical standpoint,” Lance said.