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'It’s a cool thing to think about': Cloquet (Minn.) High School's Reese Sheldon commits to Bison football

Cloquet (Minn.) High School rising senior Reese Sheldon has verbally committed to play football for NDSU.

Cloquet (Minn.) High School's Reese Sheldon (6) has verbally committed to play football at North Dakota State.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
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FARGO — Deciding to play college football for North Dakota State wasn’t a stretch for Cloquet (Minn.) High School’s Reese Sheldon, who spent part of his grade school years in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Sheldon verbally committed to the Bison on Thursday night and is a preferred walk-on for NDSU.

“I was already familiar with (NDSU) and I’ve gone to all their camps when I was younger,” said Sheldon, who is entering his third season as a two-way varsity starter for Cloquet. “That’s been a goal my whole life, my whole life I’ve wanted to play Division I football. My family and everybody else around me has kind of helped me along the way. It’s a cool thing to think about.”

Sheldon, who plays quarterback and linebacker for the Lumberjacks, is expected to play safety for the Bison. He is the 20th known commitment in NDSU’s 2023 recruiting class.

“I think I have the intangibles, athletically and physically, that I can fit into their program,” Sheldon said.


Reese Sheldon (6) of Cloquet verbally committed to play football for NDSU and is projected to play defensive back.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Sheldon also had Division II offers from Augustana and Minnesota Duluth before he decided to commit to NDSU. The Bison have won nine of the past 11 FCS national championships, and that success played a factor in Sheldon’s decision.

“That’s absolutely insane,” Sheldon said.

Sheldon said he participated in an NDSU football camp in June and strictly played defensive back for those three days, a position he's rarely played throughout his football career.

“I’ve never played safety before,” Sheldon said. “The first day I was there I got put at defensive back and safety. I kind of fell in love with it and it was super fun to run around and cover guys and stuff like that. … They taught me a lot in three days and I think I can learn a lot more from them.”

More from Eric Peterson:
The North Dakota High School Activities Association and the Minnesota State High School League both passed NIL policies this week about a year after the NCAA did the same.

Sheldon is a multisport athlete for Cloquet, also playing basketball and competing in track and field. He's a sprinter and long jumper for the track team.

Sheldon has multiple ties to the F-M area, including his grandparents who live in Fargo. He said NDSU’s culture was another factor in his decision to commit.

“After football, you’re still a Bison, you’re still part of that family,” Sheldon said. “It made me kind of feel at home.”

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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