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Bison Media Blog: NDSU football rookie who was almost paralyzed OK not to play – InForum

ByStephanie M. Akbar

Jul 28, 2022

FARGO — No, former North Dakota State football rookie Andy Thomsen wasn’t trying to come back after a serious injury about 11 months ago. The Grand Rapids, Minnesota star posted a tweet this week saying he won’t be able to play this fall because of his neck issue.

Thomsen, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound quarterback who was scheduled to play defense at NDSU, signed on verbally in June 2021. But his career came to a halt in late August when he suffered multiple broken vertebrae in his upper part back during a scrum.

Thomsen was running towards the goal line when he ducked his head around the same time as the defender “and ran through him with his head down”. It would be his last play of the day. It turned out to be his last game, period.

The severity was not immediately known. Thomsen said it looked like any other shot. He drove home with his parents, stopping at a Subway restaurant. Her father called a doctor friend, who asked several questions. Advice: Go to the hospital immediately. It wasn’t long before he was on a medical plane to the Twin Cities and two days later underwent surgery at Hennepin County Medical Center, where surgeons fused his C5-C7 vertebrae .

As the Bison players report to practice next week – day one is next Thursday – Thomsen will be working at a cycling shop.

“If I had played, something could have happened like I would die or be paralyzed,” he said. “That was not an option for me.”

He will always be a Bison fan, he said, saying he was grateful to Bison’s coaches for how they recruited him. He spoke with assistant head coach Randy Hedberg about a month ago. Hedberg was in town, met Thomsen’s sister, and gave Andy a call.

“He’s just phenomenal,” Andy said.

Thomsen said he was getting back into weightlifting and doing exercises to strengthen his neck.

“My bone is healing and everything is pretty much healed,” he said. “Everything feels pretty good, my neck just gets sore sometimes.”

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