North Dakota State announced its signings for the start of the early signing period for NCAA Division I football on Wednesday, Dec. 16., including Perham's Finn Diggins.

Diggins, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound multiple sport standout for the Yellowjackets, is slated to join NDSU at the tight end position. The Bison have found productive Minnesota high school recruits at tight end in recent years, including Hawley's Ben Ellefson, now with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Crosby-Ironton's Noah Gindorff, a junior on the 2020 Bison roster.

North Dakota State tight end Ben Ellefson has agreed to a free-agent deal after the NFL Draft with the Jacksonville Jaguars. David Samson / The Forum
North Dakota State tight end Ben Ellefson has agreed to a free-agent deal after the NFL Draft with the Jacksonville Jaguars. David Samson / The Forum

Ellefson was part of five conference championships and four FCS national championships with Bison teams that went 70-5 in his career including his redshirt season in 2015. His 16 career touchdown receptions were the most by a tight end in NDSU history and ninth on the school's all-time career list.

Noah Gindorff
Noah Gindorff

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Gindorff played in all 16 games with Ellefson in 2019, including eight starts at tight end. He had 10 receptions for 170 yards and tied for the team lead with six touchdowns. Gindorff's first five career catches were all touchdowns.

NDSU also signed 6-foot-3, 215-pound Cole Payton, who received interest from Power Five FBS schools like Nebraska and Iowa State before he signed with the Bison. He led Omaha Westside to a high school state championship in Nebraska during his senior season.

The class includes other area recruits, including West Fargo Sheyenne running back Barika Kpeenu, who was a North Dakota Class 3A first-team all-state selection in his senior season with the Mustangs.

West Fargo Sheyenne running Barika Kpeenu has signed to play football at North Dakota State. David Samson / The Forum
West Fargo Sheyenne running Barika Kpeenu has signed to play football at North Dakota State. David Samson / The Forum

Mandan defensive lineman Jaxon Duttenhefer was the first verbal commitment in the class, making his decision last March. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Duttenhefer made it official Wednesday.

Below is the list of the complete class as NDSU makes each signing official: