Tight end Dallas Goedert is soaking up most of the spotlight when it comes to South Dakota State players in the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s expected to be picked today in the second round. Wide receiver Jake Wieneke isn’t too far behind and is likely to picked Saturday in the later rounds. There’s a third Jackrabbit, though, who’s hoping to hear his name called on Day 3.
While Goedert, Wieneke, quarterback Taryn Christion and running back Brady Mengarelli were the big names for an explosive SDSU offense, center Jacob Ohnesorge was the glue guy every team needs. The 6-foot-3, 295-pound Wisconsin native started in all 53 games played since 2014.
He opened holes in that first year when SDSU was a power running team featuring Zach Zenner, now with the Detroit Lions. He was the steady veteran when the Jacks revamped to a pass-happy offense in 2016 when Goedert and Wieneke became NFL prospects. Ohnesorge’s presence was recognized by being named a three-year team captain, a three-time all-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection and in 2017, he was named to the AP All-America First Team and was the winner of the Rimington Award for top center at the FCS level.
Scouts also recognized his play and he was invited to play in January’s East-West Shrine Game along with Wieneke.
“The last few months have been a crazy, but exciting process,” Ohnesorge told HERO Sports. “Participating in the East-West Shrine Game was an amazing experience and gave me the opportunity to prove that I can compete with the top players in the country.”
He moved to New Jersey to train for his Pro Day at Test Football Academy. At his Pro Day, he impressed with a 5.13 in the 40-yard dash and repped 225 pounds 28 times. Both would have put him in the Top 10 range at the NFL Combine. About 40 scouts and team personnel from 28 NFL teams were on hand in Brookings, S.D. Ohnesorge said he’s been in contact with a handful of teams leading up to this weekend.
“All of the attention Dallas and Jake have been getting has definitely been beneficial for me,” he admitted. “Just the amount of scouts they brought to our practices and games throughout the season and to the Pro Day helped me get in front of the eyes of many NFL scouts. I have prepared for this opportunity the last five years at SDSU.”
The three have stayed in contact throughout this whole process of finding out which team likes them best. Ohnesorge has been projected as a seventh round pick in a couple mock drafts, most notably NFLDraftScout’s Dane Brugler. If not drafted, he should have plenty of options as an undrafted free agent. It’ll be a nice bow on the best senior class in Jackrabbit history.
“I think it means a lot to SDSU to have that many players projected as NFL players,” Ohnesorge said. “It helps show that the SDSU football program is on the rise and has the ability to put out talented players. I think success of current NFL players who played in the FCS help prove that players at our level can compete and have helped with all of the FCS players entering the draft.”