UND FOOTBALL: Teammates put trust in Hendrickson
Of the UND football team's offensive weapons, redshirt freshman Jameer Jackson might be the best equipped to gauge the readiness of Marcus Hendrickson for the No. 1 quarterback job.
Jackson spent much of spring practice and fall camp taking reps with Hendrickson and the rest of the No. 2s on the depth chart.
So with UND starting signal-caller Braden Hanson out with a broken bone in his leg and his return unknown, how does Jackson feel Hendrickson will do in his new role?
"I'm not worried at all," said Jackson, who caught four balls for 67 yards against the South Dakota School of Mines on Thursday. "I feel like both guys can do it. I'm not worried about anything."
Hendrickson, a Perham, Minn., native, is a fifth-year senior whose only career start came in the 2010 season opener against Idaho -- at wide receiver.
Hendrickson, who briefly aided the wide receiver depth for UND, hasn't seen extensive game action at quarterback since 2010, when he filled in for starter Brent Goska late in the year in a 27-17 loss to Montana in Missoula.
"It's a long time coming," said Hendrickson, who was 5-for-6 passing for 95 yards and two touchdowns against Mines after Hanson's injury. "The last time I played was a couple of years ago. (Thursday) was a rush. It was fun. I made sure to calm myself down and read it like I would practice."
Hendrickson is a 6-foot-1 197-pound mobile quarterback, who the coaching staff has said is too athletic to keep off the field.
Against Mines, Hendrickson said he felt comfortable.
"I felt poised and calm," he said. "I knew the guys can make plays for me. I just had to deliver."
UND wide receiver Greg Hardin, the team's most experienced and proven wideout, also stood in support of Hendrickson after the Mines game.
"It's high," Hardin said of his confidence level in Hendrickson. "I trust in all of our quarterbacks. I believe they can get the job done. It's Marcus' time. He's prepared, and he's ready."
UND will be putting all of its faith in Hendrickson as the team has no other quarterback on the roster other than true freshmen.
Junior Joey Bradley left the team just before fall camp to transfer elsewhere and sophomore Chris Comes decided not to play football.
That leaves the only other three quarterbacks as true freshman in Joe Mollberg, Ryan Bartels and Jake Hanson -- all three players UND would ideally like to redshirt.
That puts the pressure on the shoulders of Hendrickson.
"I'm going to prepare like I have been," Hendrickson said. "We've got to stay sharp and prepare. The Big Sky is coming."