Five More On The Rise

We couldn’t fit all of the student-athletes on the rise at NDSU into one issue, so here are five more Bison to watch out for in the future.

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Photo By Nolan P. Schmidt

The downfall of this magazine is that we don’t have enough space to feature student-athletes from every sport. This month was an 84-page magazine and with advertisements and other content, it leaves only 24 or so pages for a cover story. For me as the editor, that stinks.


I would profile each “rising” student-athlete on NDSU’s campus if I had space. Give me a 200-page magazine and I’d fill it with student-athletes like Jared, Tyree, Akealy and Batty. Take this for what it’s worth, but here are five more Bison that need recognition. There are certainly far more than five, but again, that pesky thing called a page count…

Ryan Cobbins, Women’s Basketball

Only a true freshman for Jory Collins and the Bison women, Cobbins is a name you will hear often in the coming seasons. The Kansas City, Kansas, native was Collins’ first recruit in his tenure at NDSU and she has proven to be an extremely talented young player. She has shot an efficient 41 percent from the field in her young Bison career and has scored in double figures five times so far in 2019-20.

Cobbins is the type of talent that will help push Bison women’s basketball back to its former glory. She is one of the many new foundational pieces for this program.

Syra Tanchin, Volleyball

The St. Michael, Minnesota, native has been a difference-maker for Jen Lopez and Bison volleyball in her freshman season. The outside hitter surpassed 200 kills on the season on a .150 hitting percentage. Tanchin’s kill mark is second-best on the Bison roster which is filled with plenty of talented hitters.

Eclipsing over 200 total points in her true freshman season is a sign of things to come for Tanchin. Bison volleyball will welcome back all but one player from this year’s team and with young talent in Tanchin returning, 2020 looks like a great year to be a Bison.

Maleeck Harden-Hayes, Men’s Basketball

There was a debate around whether or not Harden-Hayes would redshirt this season. However, when Dave Richman called his name against Kansas State in the season-opener, that discussion was laid to rest. There will be no redshirt for the Moorhead, Minnesota, product. Not only that, he has shown flashes of his talent in the minutes he has played so far.

With his raw athleticism and long frame, Harden-Hayes possesses the skill and ability to be a star for Bison men’s basketball moving forward. Sure, Jason Miller will need to put some muscle on his lanky frame, but that will come in time. Once that occurs, watch out Summit League.

Paige Vargas, Softball

Just when the Summit League thought NDSU would take a step back in the circle, Paige Vargas stepped in. Now a sophomore, Vargas was the conference’s Freshman of the Year last season. That honor pales in comparison to her performance in the Summit League Tournament. Vargas pitched 21 consecutive innings for the Bison and went 3-0 with a 0.33 earned run average.

It was her performance that helped NDSU claim another Summit League Tournament championship. Vargas was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Look for Vargas to add to her trophy case over the next three seasons.

Kobe Johnson, Football

A lot has been made of NDSU’s stellar 2019 class in football. There have been players utilizing more than just their four-game max. This means several true freshmen are making an impact on this year’s Bison team. Whether on offense, defense or special teams, NDSU is fielding a talented bunch of youngsters.

One cannot talk about that lot without mentioning Kobe Johnson. The Lawrenceville, Georgia, product has had two 100 rushing games for the Bison. He has also scored four touchdowns on the ground for NDSU. Perhaps most impressive is his performance on special teams. Johnson ran a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown against Youngstown State this year.

Safe to say, Bison football is good hands for the future.

Five More On The Rise
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Published eight times a year, Bison Illustrated provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Bison community in order to help promote the university’s players, coaches, alumni, supporters, staff and fans.


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