Babicz, Johnson Key Returners in NDSU Offense This Spring

Babicz, Johnson part of loaded depth at tight end and running back

FARGO, N.D — When North Dakota state football takes the field Sunday against Youngstown State there will be many weapons for quarterback Zeb Noland to utilize. Returners who played key roles in 2019 are back at tight end and running back.

At tight end,  Josh Babicz is coming off a 2019 season racking in five touchdowns and being part of three-man wrecking crew with Noah Gindorff and Ben Ellefson, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, that combined for 561 yards, 15 touchdowns and blocked for a backfield who rushed for a school record 4,601 yards.

Catching a touchdown in the fall against Central Arkansas and having some injuries at receiver, you could see a lot more of Babicz and Gindorff this spring.

“Me and Noah can play any position on the field we really want to. We’ll do whatever our coaches ask of us so you might see us out there a little more,” Babicz said. “We just both share the same confidence. We can just look at each other and just know that hey, I got his back and you got my back kind of thing. I can trust him to make a play whenever we need one and he can just help out through all the offense and make sure were all on the same page.”

One of those members who helped the backs run for a school record was Kobe Johnson, who comes back as the team’s leading rusher as one of four who amassed over 600 yards.

Adding four touchdowns and leading the team in yards per game, Johnson’s confidence is sky high as his role increases.

“Coach Roehl and all of the offensive staff are really trustworthy with me,” Johnson said. T”hey’ve been patient with me and them being that way towards me has allowed me to gain confidence in myself and with that happening I feel my play elevating, my a.c. elevating and I’m ready to go. My style of play has more speed. More faster. I’m just versatile so I feel like with them being able to use me the way they did last year and they’ve done in the spring camp with me, its just going to look great when we put it all together.

Johnson and Babcicz will play in front of 50 percent capacity on Sunday.

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