There's a new name climbing to the top of the quarterback class in this year's NFL draft, and it's a name that will be familiar to anyone who has followed North Dakota State football the last few seasons.
The buzz is building around NDSU quarterback Carson Wentz. The Bison signal caller is drawing rave reviews at Senior Bowl workouts this week in Mobile, Alabama.
According to NFL.com, Wentz displays all of the tools scouts covet in a franchise quarterback – size, athleticism, A-plus arm talent, leadership skills and a winning pedigree.
Wentz played in just eight games in 2015, but still completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 1,651 yards and 17 touchdowns to just four interceptions, while leading NDSU to their fifth straight FCS National Championship.
During his healthy junior season his numbers looked more robust. The Bismarck, North Dakota, native threw for 3,111 yards and 25 touchdowns while completing nearly 64 percent of his passes.
The big question surrounding him: can he step up his game against elite level competition? His performance while leading the North's offense could go a long way toward determining where he will fit in among this year's quarterback class on draft day.
But in an interview on the NFL Network Wentz said he's excited for the opportunity to show what he's capable of.
The Star Tribune looked at some likely landing spots for Wentz. Some reports have him headed for Dallas with the No. 4 overall pick, Philadelphia at 13 or even Miami or Cleveland.
One place he's not likely to end up, is with the Vikings, but growing up in nearby North Dakota Wentz said he was a Vikings fan and has long admired former Packers quarterback Brett Favre.
"I grew up as a Vikings fan. They were the closest team, but I always loved watching Brett Favre," Wentz told reporters at the Senior Bowl on Monday. "I loved his grittiness, his competitiveness, his gunslinger mentality, and I love the way that guy just had fun out there."
When he was asked if he wanted to be the top quarterback taken in the draft, the Miami Herald notes that he already has some of that starter mentality.
"Absolutely, I don't know any quarterback who doesn't want to be the top guy."
A good showing at the Senior Bowl and maybe this Midwestern high school signal caller from Bismarck could be just that.