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FOOTBALL: Beavers finish spring practice with Green & White Game

BEMIDJI -- The BSU football team entered spring practice still unsure who would be starting at quarterback in the fall.

The Beavers still don't have a concrete starter but head coach Jeff Tesch said both main candidates for the job -- sophomore Ryan Shields and Northern Iowa transfer Jordan Hein -- have performed well.

Both players will get a final chance to show their skills before next season during today's Green And White Spring Game, scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at Chet Anderson Stadium.

"If you look on the depth chart for tomorrow, Ryan Shields is No. 1," Tesch said Wednesday. "But we're happy with the progress Jordan Hein has made. He's making it a battle between those two guys, but maybe because of the familiarity Ryan has had a real good spring."

Shields started four games as a redshirt freshman in 2013, splitting time with senior Alex Hass.

Hein, meanwhile, was redshirted at Division I Northern Iowa but transferred to BSU after the 2013 season. Tesch said the former all-state quarterback at Perham would be good once he became more familiar with the BSU systems.

"If he's slow at all it's because he's learning a new system," Tesch said.

He said the BSU coaching staff doesn't expect to name a starter right out of spring practice this season.

The Beavers will also be thin at running back for today's scrimmage. Tesch said Tony Peterson will get most of the carries; Peterson was behind All-NSIC running back Avery Walker in 2013 and didn't see a ton of playing time.

"If anything that's been rough this spring it's been the injuries at the tailback spot," Tesch said. "We're about as thin there as we are anywhere. You'll see our most steady back this spring, Tony Peterson.

"He was a spot player last year behind Avery. His speed has improved and he's reading the schemes well. He's been getting a lot of carries this spring.

The Green And White Game, which will use 60 plays and a modified scoring system to highlight defense as well as offense, should be a better indicator of the Beavers' talent level this year simply because they've been able to practice outside every day this spring.

BSU only had one day of outdoor spring practice in 2013.

"We're a better football team than we were at this time last year," Tesch said. "We're getting outside. We're more healthy. We feel like we accomplished a lot of things this year."

BSU supporting Jake Krause

The BSU football program is encouraging fans to help support freshman offensive lineman Jake Krause.

The Wadena native was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in October. Before today's Green and White Game there will be a free-will offering to help support Krause and his family defray the costs of medical treatment.

The pre-game tailgate is scheduled to begins at 5 p.m. at Diamond Point Park.

Tesch said Krause has been undergoing chemotherapy and took a leave of absence from both the team and school.

"He's been able to work out and stay active through it," Tesch said. "He could suit up (for the spring game). We've been joking with him about it, asking if he wants to come out and take some reps.

"He's ready to be done with his treatment and ready to get back to school, and from everything we hear, he's that close to getting done. We think the prognosis is looking good for him."

Tesch expects Krause to be back on the team this fall.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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