Rader Signs, Will Play Football at NDSU


Joey Bonadonna, Sports Editor, Online Tritonian

As National Signing Day has come and gone, several athletes from around the country have put pen to paper to officially lock in their college commitments. Senior football player and North Dakota State commit Max Rader made his official announcement this week as he signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Bison in Fargo.

Rader, a 6’6, 250 offensive tackle, is one of the top recruits in the class for the Bison, a perennial national title contender at the FCS level. 

Ranked as the 17th best recruit and 10th best offensive lineman in the state of Wisconsin, he figures to make an impact at the next level.

“It’s a dream come true for me to be able to continue my football career playing Division I at the top level of college football,” Rader said. “It’s a good fit for me.”

Not only was Rader’s recruiting process affected by COVID-19 like many other high school athletes, he had many other struggles along the way as well, suffering major injuries in his freshman and junior years that left an impact on his career.

After tearing his shoulder labrum in May, Rader made a quick return to the field for the final three games of the Tritons’ season against Sheboygan South, Fox Valley Lutheran and Menasha.

Despite these challenges and only playing 10 varsity games at offensive tackle in his career, Rader was still a highly sought-after recruit, who still has Power 5 upside at his tall and powerful frame.

At his signing on Thursday, his father and NDA football head coach Mike Rader, who also played Division I football at the University of Wisconsin, talked at length about bearing witness to his son’s tough journey.

“I know that with everything you’ve gone through, you are more than capable of stepping up to the challenges of college football. The Bison family is so fortunate to get you, and I am very proud of you,” Coach Rader said to his son on Thursday, holding back some tears.

Those tears just go to show how tightly the bond of the Rader family is, especially through Notre Dame athletics. Both Coach Rader and his wife, Amy, are NDA graduates with Max being the fourth of five Rader siblings to come through Notre Dame as well.

Rader officially joins a North Dakota State University program with a winning culture, having won eight national titles since joining the D-I FCS ranks in 2004. 

The Bison have also produced many NFL offensive lineman, including current Green Bay Packers right tackle, Billy Turner, whom Rader has said is a great role model on the field to him.

Rader says he plans to redshirt his first season at NDSU and will study mechanical engineering.