Just hours after bench pressing 225 pounds as many times as he could to impress NFL scouts at his pro day, North Dakota State tight end Jerimiah Wurzbacher was furiously filling and lifting 40-pound sandbags to help stop potential flood waters from damaging lives and property — including his family home — in Fargo, N.D.
“The pro day was Tuesday and that Wednesday morning, we went out and were sand-bagging the whole day,” Wurzbacher, 6-5, 247 pounds, said. “I went with a couple guys who had already graduated but a whole bunch of students and guys on the football team were out there three days in a row for up to 10 hours at a time. We bagged as much sand as much as we could.”
Many of the students at North Dakota State, located blocks from the rising Red River banks, joined local and national rescue forces in building and fortifying reinforcements in frigid weather. Some areas have flooded but the waters crested Saturday slightly lower than expected, easing some fears. Still the Fargo metropolitan area remains in potential jeopardy and sandbagging and other efforts remain intact.
Wurzbacher, a potential draft pick, joked, “I guess you could say that instead of working out Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we were getting our training by throwing sandbags. It’s a little different than what we do in the weight room.”
Wurzbacher is from Fargo and said his parents’ home backs up to a portion of the Red River. The National Guard barricaded his parents’ backyard with sandbags and helped prevent any major damage, thus far.
“They did a great job protecting my parents’ home,” said Wurzbacher, who lives on campus, which he said is located about 12 blocks from the river banks.
Being part of the prevention effort did not interrupt any significant pre-draft agendas, Wurzbacher said, because he has not scheduled any private interviews or workouts.
— Steve Wyche