FARGO - Spring football was all set for King Frazier to show that he belonged as one of the regular running backs at North Dakota State. He didn’t get a chance.

A knee injury sidelined the University of Nebraska transfer, and any thoughts of proving himself in front of the Bison coaches had to wait. Through almost two weeks of practice, the reviews have been what was expected in the first place.

He’s big and he’s in the mix to get some carries behind starter John Crockett.

“He was slowed up a little bit in spring ball, but the kid is a load,” said running backs coach Tyler Roehl. “When he gets going downhill, he’ll be a physical back.”

Frazier is 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds. His meniscus problem last spring is no longer a thought, and he looks to be in better shape than when he first started spring drills.

“It got back to full strength pretty fast,” Frazier said. “We’re out here working and grinding, and it’s looking pretty good.”

He’s grinding with returning starter John Crockett, who enters his senior year as one of the top running backs in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Frazier is battling with sophomore Chase Morlock for the top backup spot with Morlock having the edge coming into fall ball by virtue of his performance in the spring.

Still, Frazier is happy to be in the mix for more carries than he got at Nebraska. A Cornhuskers walk-on who was considering NDSU heavily out of Lee’s Summit High School in Greenwood, Mo., he got the ball just 12 times in his redshirt freshman season last year, most with the game already in balance.

He was also down the depth chart at a school that signs a highly rated running back every year. Frazier said he has no regrets of going to Nebraska in the first place, and if he had to do it all over again, he would do the same thing.

“I love the game of football, I love to play the game and I’m excited to get on the field and wear a Bison jersey,” Frazier said. “I call it another opportunity. I went to Nebraska to learn and I learned a lot there and got to bring it here.”

All three backs are physical in nature, but they also present different styles, Frazier said. Crockett is more of a slasher/speed guy. Morlock is a tougher back.

“Chase is a bruiser. We call him ‘Smash’ for a reason, because he can smash it up in there,” Frazier said. “I feel like I can bring both to the table.”

Roehl said a lot of the running back rotation will depend on game situations and how well the backs can execute pass protections, receiving routes and the ability to catch the ball.

“We just have to find the pieces where they can fit into the offense,” Roehl said.

Kolpack is a sports writer                       at the Fargo Forum

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