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Carson Wentz to start for North Dakota State in FCS title game

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Tim Sharp / Associated Press
Carson Wentz will get one more opportunity to impress NFL scouts before the draft process begins.

Carson Wentz, one of the top quarterback prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft, will be able to play when North Dakota State goes for its fifth consecutive Football Championship Subdivision national championship on Saturday.


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The school announced on Friday that Wentz -- who has been out of action since suffering a broken wrist in a 24-21 loss to South Dakota on Oct. 17 -- will start when the Bison take on Jacksonville State in the FCS championship game (which will be held in Frisco, Texas, and can be seen on ESPN2 starting at noon ET on Saturday).

Wentz comes from a small school, but the 6-foot-6, 235-pound passer might have big-time potential. His pre-draft experience will be evaluated closely by NFL teams looking for a quarterback, and the Bison star could become one of the most polarizing prospects in this year's draft class.

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein has placed a first-round grade on Wentz, saying, "He checks a lot of boxes. He plays in a pro-style passing attack that allows him to read the entire field. He has great size, a good enough arm, and is very courageous in the pocket."

NFL Media's Albert Breer suggests an NFL comparison for Wentz that fans might hear a lot in the coming months is Joe Flacco, who emerged from the FCS-level at Delaware to become a first-round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft.

NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock is also impressed with Wentz's arm talent.

While there is bona fide optimism over Wentz's long-term potential, an NFC scout warned College Football 24/7 in December that picking a quarterback from a smaller school like Wentz's can be scary business.

Less than three weeks after the FCS title game, Wentz will be on hand in Mobile, Ala., for the Reese's Senior Bowl. At this event, Wentz will be tested against prospects from much bigger programs.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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