FARGO — North Dakota State had already knocked the University of Delaware out by the time Brendan Cook made his presence felt last Saturday, Sept. 14. But just in case the outcome was in doubt in the fourth quarter, the Bison had their emergency plan in place on the defensive line.
The redshirt freshman defensive end traveled for the first time in his career in case “the game became a slugfest,” said Bison head coach Matt Entz.
“We needed to have a little bit bigger body there, and Brendan is a big, long kid,” Entz said. “He has a big, physical presence.”
The physical presence stands 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds, which puts him on the bigger side of the six defensive ends the Bison took on the trip.
Cook played seven snaps against Delaware. He made an impact in the fourth quarter when the Bison defense needed a boost.
But when he got to NDSU last year, he found himself like most true freshmen toward the bottom of the depth chart. That changed last week. It helped that it was a non-conference game and the Bison dressed 73 players compared the maximum of 64 for league games.
NDSU was preparing for the possibility of Delaware going to a run-first physical game.
“That’s what we needed against a team that might line up two tight ends,” Entz said. “We’ve been fortunate we’ve been able to bring a few more people than normal.“