Notre Dame’s Rader verbally commits to NDSU
By Rich Palzewic
GREEN BAY – Despite injury forcing him to miss this fall’s high school football season, Notre Dame Academy senior Max Rader will be playing college football at a high level.
Rader, the son of current Notre Dame head coach Mike Rader, recently verbally committed to North Dakota State University (NDSU), a Division I FCS school in Fargo.
“The recruiting process was fun, but I’m glad it’s over,” Max Rader said. “Because my dad played at (the University of Wisconsin-) Madison and is a high school coach, he helped me through the process. I’m excited to be a Bison.”
Rader said he had big expectations going into the campus visit in Fargo.
“My mom and I traveled there together,” he said. “I had been talking to them for a while, but with COVID-19, everything was different – it wasn’t the normal recruiting.”
Rader, who will be studying mechanical engineering at NDSU, said Illinois State, South Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Yale and Harvard also showed interest.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Rader will be joining a Bison program reaped in success.
NDSU won 33 conference championships and eight national championships in the Division II ranks before moving to the Division I Championship Subdivision in 2004, where it won five straight national titles from 2011-15.
Playing its home games at the Fargodome, NDSU averages more than 18,000 fans per home game.
“It’s a unique field,” Rader said. “When we walked out onto the field for the tour, the lights were off. My heart started racing walking out of the tunnel – it’s cool.”
Rader played offensive tackle and defensive end this past spring during the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association alternate fall season and said he’ll be playing tackle for the Bison.
Despite his big size, Rader said he can put on more weight without sacrificing his speed and agility.
“I think I can get up to 290-295 pounds comfortably,” he said.
With Jack Plumb (Bay Port) playing at Iowa, Max Scharping (Green Bay Southwest) playing with the Houston Texans, Cole Van Lanen (Bay Port) on the Packers practice squad, Alec Ingold (Bay Port) in his third year with the Las Vegas Raiders and James Morgan (Ashwaubenon) on the Carolina Panthers practice squad, Rader said that gives area players lots of motivation to work hard.
“Growing up, I played for the Allouez Bucs, and Jack Plumb played with my older brother Matthew,” he said. “Max Scharping also played there years ago. I’m on a similar path – Jack is going to be starting this season at Iowa. It’s something I can set my goals toward, only at a different school.”
Rader said he’s been told he’ll be redshirting his first year at NDSU.
During the Tritons’ last game of the spring season, Rader tore the labrum in his shoulder.
“I had the surgery June 4,” he said. “It was a significant tear of the posterior labrum. It’s a six-month recovery, so this fall season won’t happen for me. That news was extremely tough to hear, but I’ll be on the sideline cheering my teammates on.”