Marshall’s Bryce Lance signs National Letter of Intent to play football at North Dakota State University
MARSHALL — Christmas might be next week on the calendar but for thousands of high school football players and college coaches across the country, it came a little early in the form of the early National Signing period, which went from Wednesday through Friday.
Marshall senior receiver Bryce Lance was among that massive group, as he officially signed his National Letter of Intent to play football at North Dakota State University. Lance said he was relieved to finally have the day come and be committed.
“It was definitely a feeling of relief at first,” Lance said, who signed Wednesday. “It was a long, weird process with COVID and everything, but I’m glad I have made my decision and be able to go on to the next thing.”
The Lance family is no stranger to the NDSU program. Bryce’s older brother, Trey, became a Bison a couple of years ago, where he helped lead NDSU to a perfect record and its eighth National Championship in the last nine seasons earlier this year before declaring for the upcoming NFL Draft next April.
Bryce said while it’s special to be able to attend the same college his older brother went to, he knew it was ultimately his own decision.
“It’s special for sure, I know that my brother accomplished a lot there, but I also knew it was my decision as well,” Bryce said. “My brother and parents were supportive through the process and I looked at all of my options, and I felt that NDSU was the right fit for me.”
Bryce added he always thought he was going to play basketball in college, but stuck with football instead. While it was a much different recruitment process with COVID impacting things, it was the “at-home” feeling and the coaching staff at NDSU that was key.
“During high school, I thought I was going to play basketball in college, but I liked football more,” Bryce said. “The coaches [at NDSU] really made me feel at home and were so understanding and helpful, especially with the COVID situation going on, it made my decision easier.”
The past few seasons, Bryce has been instrumental in Marshall’s success on both the gridiron and the hardwood. This past fall, he hauled in 30 receptions for 634 yards and eight touchdowns while adding 23.5 total tackles and six interceptions, including one for a touchdown.
Bryce said his coaches and teammates have had a huge impact on him during his time at Marshall and have pushed him to get better every day.
“I think coach [Terry] Bahlmann is one of the best coaches around. Just looking at all of the talent he’s produced over the last several years, it’s a testament to him and his coaching staff and the program in general,” Bryce said. “My teammates have always supported me and the program has helped progress me both as a player and a person as well.”
Bryce said he is currently undecided with his major. Before he takes the field in Fargo next fall as a receiver, Bryce still has one final season with the Marshall boys basketball team this winter. He said he’s looking forward to getting on the court with his teammates and hopefully having a chance to get back to the state tournament. Marshall won the Section 2AAA championship against Mankato East last March, but the remainder of the season was canceled due to COVID the next day.
“I’m super excited to get back on the court with my teammates. There was a lot of unknown of whether we were going to have a season, but I’m glad we’ve got a start date,” Bryce said. “Last year, we finished with a win, but it was not how we imagined things to go, so hopefully we’ll be able to finish out this season up at the state tournament.”