Month: August 2016

Player Spotlight: QB Jack Nelson



Tyrant Analysis

Jack Nelson is our #2 overall QB in Division II, based off of pro potential. He has all the physical attributes needed to have a shot at the next level. He is already Winona State’s all-time passing leader and has accumulated 8,977 yards thus far. He has a strong arm, and routinely navigates adverse weather in Minnesota. He has one more season to enshrine himself as one of Winona State’s all time greats.

Career Stats

Awards and Honors

2013 NSIC Offensive Newcomer of the Year
2015 NSIC Honorable Mentin

2015: Became the Winona State Warriors all-time leading passer after throwing for a school record 3,419 yards … threw 26 touchdowns and had eight 300-yard games … threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns against Sioux Falls … season high 361 yards passing against Upper Iowa … threw four touchdowns against Minnesota State … competed at least 20 passes in all but one game … season high 57 pass attempts against Upper Iowa, competed season high 33 … in five October games he threw for 15 touchdowns and 1,571 yards … 11th in the NCAA in passing yards … eighth in NCAA in passing yards per game … 11th in the NCAA in completions per game … ranked 26th in the nation in passing touchdowns … ranked 17th in the nation in total offense.

2014: Put together another strong season as a sophomore, climbing into the Warrior record books … started all 11 games at quarterback and threw for 2,843 yards, the fourth-most in program history … completed the third-most passes in a season with 207 while attempting the most passes in program history with 398 … also completed the third-most touchdowns in a single season with 27 … put together some of the best single games in program history, completing the second-most touchdowns with five, the sixth-most yards with 398, and the 11th-most completions with 25 against Northern State … topped his yardage mark twice later on in the season, throwing the second-most completions in a single game with 30 for 422 yards, the fourth-best mark in program history against the University of Mary … against Southwest Minnesota State, completed 23-of-40 passes for 410 yards, the fifth-most in program history, completing four touchdown passes, tying the 10th-most in a single game in program history … as a sophomore, already setting numerous marks in the Warrior record book, currently third in school history with 380 completions, third in pass attempts with 700, fourth in passing yards with 2,843, and seventh in touchdown passes with 52.

2013: Had one of the top seasons for a Warrior passer in school history … NSIC Offensive Newcomer of the Year … started 10 games after being pressed into action due to an injury to senior John Teigland … 2,715 passing yards are the fourth most for a QB in school history … tied for third on school’s single-season charts with 25 touchdown passes … threw for 425 yards against Southwest Minnesota State, the second-most in a game in program history … completed school record 40 passes against SMSU … threw for over 300 yards four times … passed for 322 yards and four touchdowns in second career start against MSU Moorhead … tossed three touchdowns and threw for 333 yards against Upper Iowa … was 21-of-28 for 347 yards and five scores vs. Wayne State … connected on 84-yard touchdown to Tony Mueller against Minot State … added five rushing touchdowns.


Q&A with Jack Nelson

1)Tell us a little about yourself (Name, School, Position, Height, Weight)

Jack Nelson (Winona State QB)

Ht: 6’4 Wt: 230

2) Is there a story behind your jersey number? If so, elaborate.

There is no real story behind my number. It was the only one available when I got here, so I stuck with it.

3) What about your play style translates most to the NFL?

We run a pro style offense, where I take most of my snaps under. That probably translates the best.

4) Who do you look up to the most, or style your game after?

I’ve always tried to model my game after Tom Brady and Big Ben (Ben Roethlisberger), both have a great understanding of the game and toughness as a Quarterback.

5) Why did you choose Winona State to continue your football career?

I wasn’t highly recruited out of high school and it was my only official visit. It felt like an instant match. Plus, I had two high school coaches that played there.

6) What do you consider the most underrated aspect of your game?

I feel like my athletic ability is underrated. I may not have break away speed, but if a play breaks down I can make plays with my feet.

7) What are some goals and aspirations for this season or further down the road?

I want to make a career out of Football. Whether that means getting a chance at the next level, or immediately getting into coaching as my playing days end. I’ve always loved Football, and want to make it a career.








Changing of the FCS Guard? Making their case: North Dakota State


The Alabama Crimson Tide have created a long lasting legacy by stringing together very successful seasons and National Championships. They have terrorized the SEC for many years now. Unknown to the average fan, there is a team in the FCS that has been even more dominant as of late. The North Dakota State Bison put a cap on a very successful season last year by earning their fifth, yes their fifth, FCS National Championship. They have created their own dynasty, and are not ready to hand over the reins this season.

NDSU has been so successful, in part, because of a smothering defense. They have a strong tradition of fielding these vicious 4-3 units. In their defense, one of the most important pieces is the Middle Linebacker. He plays as the defensive field general, and generally makes sure everyone else is in place pre-snap. This year’s version of the Bison defense is lead by Senior standout Nick DeLuca. The 6’3″ 249lbs DeLuca topped FCS Linebackers in all statistical categories. Additionally, he was the sole ‘backer named to the Butkus Award Watchlist. Nick could very likely be the best NFL prospect to come out of the FCS this year. Also returning to defend the title is Junior Defensive End Greg Menard. While slightly undersized at 6’2″ and 240lbs, Greg was very adept at hitting opposing signal callers last year and racked up 10 sacks. This Bison defense looks to be just as fierce as last year’s rendition, and is willing to carry North Dakota State on its back through the FCS Playoffs, if necessary.

The Defense can’t do it all alone and won’t have to. Though Carson Wentz (Eagles) and Joe Haeg (Colts) have left for the NFL, this Bison offense has plenty of talent returning. Last year’s leading rusher, King Frazier, brings his bruising running style back this season. He should have plenty of room to run as Senior Guard Zack Johnson and his crew are no strangers to blasting holes for their running backs. Quarterback Easton Stick is no stranger to leading this team, as he went 8-0 as the starter. He took over a 4-2 team last year, and led them to the FCS National Semi-Finals after Carson Wentz went down. Don’t expect this unit to take a step back. They’ve just reloaded.

North Dakota State has all the talent they need to make a run at their sixth National Championship. The road won’t be easy. The Bison have a target on their back; however, as their last five National Championship can attest, they won’t back down under pressure. They’ll rise to the occasion. Look for this year’s version to be equally competitive, and they will be fighting to retain their title as DeLuca and company Seniors’ swan song.



Tyrant Scouting All-Americans

Nick Deluca (ILB, First Team)

Zack Johnson (OG, First Team)

King Frazier (RB, Second Team)


Project Panther


Pittsburgh is an epicenter of talent in all areas of the sports world. With so much talent abound in this city, there must be a constant watch for the next big thing from the steel city. Pittsburgh has a few guys who could be trending towards stardom past and present, both Tyler Boyd and James Conner have shown the ability to be productive players who excel at stressing defenses with nuance and physicality . They have produced an All-Pro in DT Aaron Donald, and a budding Tackle in TJ Clemmings. The 2016 roster appears to be set up to produce some more solid draftable players starting with Redshirt Senior Ejuan Price.

Ejuan Price, at 5’10 and 250 pounds, is a guy who was one of the most productive pass rushers in the ACC in 2015. Price Registered 19.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks last year. While he may not possess prototypical size, he makes up for it with his aggressiveness, motor, and instincts. His game vs.Louisville really opened my eyes to his tenacity, he amassed 10 total tackles and 6 for loss. 5 of which were sacks, keep in mind he sacked Louisville’s Lamar Jackson 3 of those 5 who happens to be one of the most athletic qbs in all of college football. If Ejuan is able to stay healthy and build off of last season he could be getting comparisons to another tenacious pass rusher in the Steel City James Harrison or a former ACC terror Elvis Dumervil.

Joining Price on the edge is Redshirt sophomore DE Dewayne Hendrix, a former Tennessee volunteer. He was a top 100 player in the 2014 cycle and top 10 at his DE position. While he has yet to do much at the collegiate level a small view of his high school tape shows a kid with tremendous speed and length to win from the edge. So, if he can combine a pass rush repertoire with that raw athleticism, Pitt could be wrecking game plans with Hendrix and Ejuan Price on the edge.

Mark Herzlich was an excellent player considered the best defensive player in the ACC in 2009 but his cancer diagnosis changrawall that. His comeback story is one of a kind, but he can relate to the struggle of Pitt RB James Conner. James Conner is a wrecking ball on the field, he possesses enough speed to break off chunks of yardage and his willingness to run through potential tacklers takes a toll on opposing defenses. He has yet to play a snap after being cancer free, but he has a work ethic like no other and I believe he can return to form. An immediate return to form may be a little overzealous but I believe by the conclusion of the season in a deep group of draft eligible running backs he could be ascending past a few notable names like Royce freeman, Jalen Hurd, and Wayne Gallman , barring a solid return season. While Conner may not be considered a home run hitter he’s a well-built tough running back with good balance who has yet to register a single career fumble and i’m sure he will have many opportunities to continue his streak in 2016. The arrow is pointing up for the offense because Pitt is also returning the 2015 ACC-offensive rookie of the year who rushed for 1,000 yards ,in redshirt sophomore RB Qadree Ollison. At 6’2 and 230 pounds, he is another bruising back who has a knack for breaking tackles and finishing runs. This tandem of big backs can really challenge defenses with their physicality and will be no easy test on game days.
Pitt also boasts some returning talent in the secondary with Junior cornerback Avonte Maddox who lead the panthers in interceptions/pass deflections last year and sophomore safety Jordan Whitehead. Whitehead is an emerging player in the secondary as a freshman he was a consensus All-American and logged snaps at Safety and RB. While he had a small sample size at RB, he has explosive ability with the ball in his hand. He is an impressive athlete with good quickness and vision while he maybe a little small he consistently puts himself in winning situations facing ball carriers and tacklers.

Offenses and Defenses better be aware this team is loaded with talent and shouldn’t be overlooked lest they become prey to the panthers.

Changing of the FCS Guard? Making their case: Jacksonville State


The Jacksonville State Gamecocks fought and clawed their way to the National Championship, only to fall in a lopsided 37-10 loss to perennial powerhouse North Dakota State. Carson Wentz, this year’s number 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft, had a field day accounting for 276 yards and 3 touchdowns.

While NDSU lost their stud signal caller, they still retain a fierce defense led by Nick DeLuca and Greg Menard. A rematch would still be no walk in the park, but Jacksonville State has a very real chance to usurp the Title this year.

The Gamecocks rely heavily on pounding the rock. Which fits perfectly with the personnel that Head Coach John Grass has assembled. The Offensive Line led by AFCA All-American Center, Casey Dunn, does a great job mitigating the pass rush and paving holes in the run game. They have a stable of great Runningbacks led by Jojo Wynn and Roc Thomas. Both Wynn and Thomas are FBS transfers, from Arkansas and Auburn respectively. Thomas, transferred this off-season to rejoin his old High School Coach, Grass.

There is also the multi-faceted, dangerous Eli Jenkins. He returns for a Senior season, after being named the top FCS Quarterback by The FCS ADA. Jenkins passed for 2,484 yards last year and rushed for 1,030 more. Also returning, is Wide Receiver Josh Barge, who has racked up 2,949 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in his career. Our very own released it’s FCS All-Americans list for the pre-season. Dunn is listed on the First Team. While, Jenkins and Barge were both on the Second Team.

It’s a very long road back to the Championship, and there’s a very real chance that NDSU could be there again. This could be the year for Jacksonville State, they may have just enough fire power to outduel opponents on the way. But,  barring anything catastrophic, expect the Gamecocks to make a deep Playoff run.

Pac-12’s Sleeping Giant



Alabama emerged from the college football rumble of 2015 with one mere blemish on its record; this is a team renowned for its depth and seemingly innumerable talent on all sides of the ball. While Alabama seems to pilfer the best talent from every state there are hundreds of other premier colleges producing professional talent, the focus here will be on a few programs that in recent memory have become under the radar football factories: Part one will feature the University of Washington then the likes of , Pitt , Virginia, and lastly West Virginia .

Washington has been on a break neck pace recruiting and developing players most notably on the defensive side of the ball but what first caught my attention were the quality offensive skill positions of the 2011-2013 team. Lead by Quarterbacks Keith Price and Jake Locker (former first round pick) this was an offense with a superfluous amount of talent. Guys like Austin Seferian- Jenkins, and Bishop Sankey, headlined the loaded Washington roster but beyond that stellar group lied several budding, elite defenders; Two elite corners in Desmond Trufant and Marcus Peters, throw in two versatile SS/LB hybrids in Shaq Thompson and Travis Feeney , a stud NT in Danny Shelton and the 2014 ncaa sack leader Hau’oli Kikaha.
With all of this talent there were bound to be players that were overshadowed Damore’ea stringfellow is an emerging receiver who transferred to Ole Miss but he wasn’t the biggest player overshadowed there was another receiver better known as Kasen Williams;he had the look and pedigree of an NFL athlete he cleared a 6’10 high jump coming out of high school ,was the number 7 ranked wide receiver in the country, and number 1 wide receiver in the state of Washington. His 2012 campaign was his best season his play shown here  vs Stanford and Utah really showcase a rare skill set.

Kasen checks off every box as far as physicality goes, he’s 6’2 220 with strong hands, shows consistent ability to box out defenders at the catch point, a willingness to attack blockers, and he’s nimble enough to make defenders miss but he’s not afraid to run through them as well. In 2013 a major leg injury changed the course of his career and he ended up undrafted but he has a chance to emerge for the Seahawks in 2016.

Tantamount to the fighting spirit Kasen Williams has displayed returning from injury ;Washington continues to battle in the Pac -12 with recent upsets of USC , Oregon St and Arizona. these moments show glimpses of the increasing pedigree of Huskie football which has a promising outlook for its 2016 campaign. Washington is returning pff’s best pac-12 edge defender Joe Mathis, they have an ascending secondary with three draftable guys in Cornerback Sydney Jones, hybrid corner safety Kevin King , and safety Budda Baker this is a group that was able to finish the season with more takeaways than touchdowns allowed,  they should look to build on that success with  a tandem of some of the best freshman players in the country last year in qb Jake Browning and running back Myles gaskin at the helm on offense.

FCS Top 10 Linebackers -Pre Season


1) Nick Deluca-Senior- (NDSU)-Ht: 6’3 Wt: 245

2) Dylan Cole-Senior- (Missouri State)-Ht: 6’1 Wt: 236

3) Andrew Ankrah-Junior- (James Madison)-Ht: 6’4 Wt: 235

4) James Rentz-Senior-(Sacred Heart)-Ht: 6’2 Wt: 245

5) Christian Kuntz-Senior-(Duquesne)-Ht: 6’1 Wt: 220

6) Kourtney Berry-Senior-(Alabama State)-Ht: 6’0 Wt: 215

7) Mike Needham-Junior-(S. Utah)-Ht: 6’4 Wt: 210

8) George Dawson-Senior-(Fordham)-Ht: 6’2 Wt:210

9) Tosin Aguebor-Senior-(Mercer)-Ht: 6’3 Wt: 238

10) Roper Garrett-Senior-(SE Missouri St)-Ht: 6’1 Wt: 234



Honorable Mentions:

Jesse Bobbit (SDSU)

Tripp Patterson (Mercer)

Brett Taylor (W. Illinois)

FCS Top 10 Defensive Linemen- Pre Season Rankings

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1) Keionta Davis-Senior- (DE, Chattanooga) Ht: 6’4 Wt: 260

2) Karter  Schult-Senior- (DE, UNI) Ht: 6’2 Wt: 265

3) Derek Rivers-Senior- (DE, YSU) Ht: 6’5 Wt: 255

4) Javancy Jones-Senior- (DE/OLB, Jackson State) Ht: 6’2 Wt: 240

5) Tanoh Kpassagnon-Senior- (DE, Villanova) Ht: 6’7 Wt: 270

6) Patrick Ricard-Senior- (DT, Maine)           Ht: 6’3 Wt: 285

7) Caleb Kidder-Senior- (DT, Montana)     Ht: 6’5 Wt: 275

8) PJ Hall-Junior- (DE/DT, Sam Houston) Ht: 6’1 Wt: 280

9) Greg Menard-Junior- (DE/OLB, NDSU) Ht: 6’2 Wt: 240

10) Damani Taylor-Senior- (DT, UTM)        Ht: 6’2 Wt: 285

Honorable Mentions:

Davion Belk-Senior- (DE, Stetson)

Isaiah Golden-Junior- (DT, Mcneese)

Ebenezer Ogundeko-Junior-(DE, Tennessee State)

Marquis Ragland-Senior-(DE, NC A&T)

Tyrant Scouting FCS All-Americans (Pre Season)


First Team Offense

QB-Jordan West (Eastern Washington)

RB-Kade Harrington (Lamar)

RB-Chase Edmonds (Fordham)

WR-Cooper Kupp (Eastern Washington)

WR-Emmanuel Butler (Northern Arizona)

TE-Phazahn Odom (Fordham)

OT-Jessamen Dunker (Tennessee State)

OG-Corey Levin (Chattanooga)

C-Casey Dunn (Jacksonville State)

OG-Zack Johnson (NDSU)

OT-Julie’n Davenport (Bucknell)


First Team Defense

DE-Keionta Davis (Chattanooga)

DT-Patrick Ricard (Maine)

DT-Caleb Kidder (Montana)

DE-Karter Schult (UNI)

LB-Nick DeLuca (NDSU)

LB-Dylan Cole (Missouri State)

LB-Kourtney Berry (Alabama State)

CB-Taylor Reynolds (James Madison)

CB-Casey DeAndrade (New Hampshire)

S-Donald Payne (Stetson)

S-David Jones (Richmond)



Second Team Offense

QB-Eli Jenkins (Jacksonville State)

RB-King Frazier (NDSU)

RB- Derrick Crane (Chattanooga)

WR-Jake Wieneke (S. Dakota St)

WR-Josh Barge (Jacksonville State)

TE-Duncan Fletcher (Furman)

OT-Mitchell Kirsch (J. Madison)

OG-Kyle Avaloy (Illinois State)

C-Mark Spelman (Illinois State)

OG-Armando Bonheur (Samford)

OT-JP Flynn (Montana State)


Second Team Defense

DE-Derek Rivers (YSU)

DT-PJ Hall (Sam Houston)

DT-Damani Taylor (UT Martin)

DE-Javancy Jones (Jackson State)

LB-Andrew Ankrah (J. Madison)

LB-Christian Kuntz (Duquesne)

LB-James Rentz (Sacred Heart)

CB-Dee Delaney (The Citadel)

CB-Troy McGowens (Charleston Southern)

S-Tyson Graham (S.Dakota)

S-Lorenzo Jerome (St. Francis)


Honorable Mentions

QB-KD Humphries (Murray State)

⭐Case Cookus (Northern Arizona)

RB-Corey Avery (Sam Houston)

Darius Victor (Towson)

WR-Anthony Warrum (Illinois State)

Lance Lenoir (Western Illinois)

OL-Brett Neidereither (Mercer)

Cameron Young (Weber State)

DL-Tanoh Kpassagnon (Villanova)

LB-Tosin Aguebor (Mercer)

Tripp Patterson (Mercer)

DB-Xavier Coleman (Portland St)

Ezra Robinson (Tennessee State)

⭐ denotes not draft eligible

Tyrant Scouting Division II All-Americans (Pre Season)


[ 1st Team Offense ]

•QB – #6 Bart Williams 6’6″ 220, Jr. (Grand Valley State)
•RB – #32 Ja’Quan Gardner 5’7″ 190, Jr. (Humboldt State)
•WR – #9 Garry Brown 6’1″ 200, Sr. (California PA)
•WR – #81 Billy Brown 6’4″ 230, Sr. (Shepherd)
•WR – #11 Jameson Parsons 6’2″ 201, Sr. (St. Cloud State)
•TE – #44 Adam Shaheen 6’6″ 240, Jr. (Ashland)
•OT – #71 Alex Kappa 6’7″ 285, Jr. (Humboldt State)
•OG(OT) – #67 Jordan Morgan 6’4″ 300, Sr. (Kutztown)
•C – #71 Joe LoSchiavo 6’3″ 305, Sr. (Slippery Rock)
•OG(OT) – #75 Zach Voytek 6’5″ 300, Sr. (New Haven)
•OT – #62 Jac’Que Polite 6’5″ 300, Sr. (Winston Salem)

[ 1st Team Defense ]
•DE – #44 Marcus Martin 6’3″ 245, Jr. (Slippery Rock)
•DT – #11 Collin Bevins 6’5″ 285, Sr. (Northwest Missouri State)
•DT(DE) – #53 Paulin Miano 6’6″ 265, Sr. (Virginia Union)
•DE – #9 Joby Saint Fleur 6’5″ 255, Sr. (Northwestern Oklahoma State)
•LB – #57 Jordan Herdman 6’2″ 231, Sr. (Simon Fraser)
•LB – #16 Connor Harris 6’0″ 235, Sr. (Lindenwood)
•LB – #45 Tyler Condit 6’0″ 241, Sr. (New Haven)
•CB (S)- #2 Aaron Terry 5’11” 203, Sr. (Califonia PA)
•CB(S) – #2 Marquez Gollmon 5’11” 194, Sr. (Grand Valley State)
•S – #8 Carlo Thomas 6’2″ 185, Jr. (Johnson C. Smith)
•S – #7 Rodney Singleton 6’2″ 203, Sr. (Lenoir-Rhyne)



[ 2nd Team Offense ]
•QB – #19 Jack T. Nelson 6’4″ 230 Sr. (Winona State)
•RB – #23 Andre Anderson 5’8″ 195, (New Haven)
•WR – #8 Matt Lehman 6’3″ 200, Sr. (Clarion)
•WR – #15 Keshaun Taylor 6’1 190, Sr. (Mars Hill)
•WR – #7 B.J. Bunn 6’0″ 210, Sr. (UNC Pembroke)
•TE – #87 Paul Butler 6’6″ 255, Sr. (California PA)
•OT – #74 Lavonte Hights 6’3″ 292, Jr. (Shepherd)
•OG – #65 Zachary Douglass 6’2″ 297, Sr. (Ashland)
•C – #62 Chase Sherman 6’0″ 271, Sr. (Northwest Missouri State)
•OG – #59 Ethan Cooper 6’3″ 325, Sr. (Indiana PA)
•OT – #75 Stephen Evans 6’4″ 302, Sr. (North Alabama)

[ 2nd Team Defense ]
•DE – #49 Dylan Donahue 6’3″ 235, Sr. (West Georgia)
•DT – #5 De’Ondre Hogan 6’2″ 280, Sr. (Grand Valley State)
•DT – #97 Chad Stoterau 6’3″ 285, Sr. (Northern State)
•DE – #19 Trevon Biglow 6’1″ 255, Sr. (Harding)
•LB – #45 Kyle Kitchens 6’2″ 205 Jr. (Catawba)
•LB – #58 Brandon Gency 6’2″ 235 Sr. (Ashland)
•LB – #52 Bob Vernick 6’1″ 230 Sr. (Slippery Rock)
•CB – #25 Jordan Norris 5’11” 178, Sr. (Northwestern Oklahoma State)
•CB – #19 Marcus Sayles 5’10” 179, Sr. (West Georgia)
•S – #21 Jerry Miclisse 6’1″ 212, Sr. (Carson-Newman)
•S – #6 Kevin Berg 5’11” 185, Sr. (Northwest Missouri State)

[ Honorable Mentions]
•QB – Jeff Ziemba (Shepherd) / Trey Heid (Austana) / Antonio Pipkin (Tiffin)
•RB – Richard Cooper (Texas A&M Commerce) / Phil Jackson II (Northwest Missouri State) / Chris Temple (Indiana PA)
•WR – David Moore (East Central) / Matt Williams (Grand Valley State) / Charles Holland (Tiffin)
•OL – Jesse Hein (Bemidji State) / Jake Daugherty (Ferris State) / Eric Mitchell (Harding)
•DL – Joseph Wetty (Bloomsburg) / Paul Wesselhoeft (Ohio Dominican) / Demetrius Ford (Arkansas Tech)
•LB – Beau Bates (Minnesota Duluth) / Anthony Darkangelo (Ferris State) / Zachary Blair (UVa-Wise)
•DB – Jaleel Canty (Ferris State) / Trey Sullivan (Shepherd) / Dustin Rivas (Colorado Mesa)

Player Spotlight: LB Dylan Cole



Tyrant’s Analysis

Dylan is our #2 LB, and also on our First Team All-American list for the pre season.He is highly productive from LB spot, racking up 152 tackles last year. He has a thick, muscular frame and delivers some vicious hits. He’s very instinctive and is always in position to make a play. Keep your eyes on Dylan this year, we expect another great season.


Career Stats

2015: Had a stellar junior campaign in which he earned All-MVFC First-Team honors and led the club in total tackles in every game … Finished with 152 total tackles to lead the Valley … Started all 11 games at Will linebacker … Averaged 15.4 total stops per outing during league play … Was the MVFC leader in tackles per game (13.8), which ranked third among all NCAA Division I FCS defenders … Logged 9 double-digit tackle games and averaged 6.6 solo tackles per game, which was tops in the conference and No. 5 nationally … Also led the Bears, ranked sixth in the Valley and 65th nationally in tackles for loss per game (1.1) with 12.0 for the season … Completed the season with seven straight double-digit tackle performances and 152 total tackles, which was good for No. 7 on the Bears’ single-season list … Named the HERO Sports FCS Defensive Stud of the Week following his 21-tackle day against South Dakota (10/24/15) … Logged a conference season-high of 23 tackles No. 19 UNI (11/14/15) … Also logged 14 solo tackles and 21 stops overall at South Dakota (10/24/15) … Was in on 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack with 18 tackles against South Dakota State (10/31/15) … Tallied 9 solo stops and 12 overall at Youngstown State (11/7/15) with a pair of TFLs … Against the team’s two FCS foes, he  combined to tally 13 total solo stops and 19 tackles in all at Memphis (9/5/15) and Arkansas State (9/19/15) … Was a Preseason All-MVFC selection … Participated in a mission trip to help orphans in the Dominican Republic in April … Also earned Academic All-MVFC first-team honors … Named to MSU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters … Had 6 solo tackles, a TFL and an interception in the Maroon and White Spring Game (4/11/15).

2014: Started all 12 games as a sophomore and earned All-MVFC honorable mention honors … Brought down 92 ball carriers which ranked second on the team and 105th nationally — 11th in the MVFC … His 14.5 tackles for loss were 5th in The Valley and 56th nationally … Posted at least 7 tackles in 8 games … Posted season-high 12 total tackles vs. South Dakota (10/18/14) with 5 solos … Had MSU record 6 tackles for loss, 8 total stops, 7 solos and a sack at Oklahoma State (9/6/14) to earn CFPA National LB of the Week, MSU Media Player of the Week and MSU Defensive Player of the Week honors … Also had 7 solos and 9 total stops with a TFL in win at Northwestern State (8/28/14) … Had interceptions in back-to-back games vs. Youngstown State (10/4/14) and at South Dakota State (10/11/14) … Earned CFPA National LB honorable mention and MSU Media Player of the Week honors for YSU game … Was in on 8 tackles, 2 for loss and a sack at Indiana State (11/1/14) … Notched 9 tackles, including a forced fumble and 3 TFLs in the Maroon and White Spring Game (4/26/14).

2013: Started all 12 games at Sam linebacker as a redshirt freshman … Was MSU’s only freshman player on the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer Team … Ranked 26th in the MVFC in tackles per game (5.9) and was 5th on the club in total stops (68) while ranking 2nd among all Bears in tackles for loss (6.0) … Was named MSU Media Player of the Week for home game against Central Arkansas (9/21/13) after he tallied 10 tackles against the UCA Bears along with his first career interception … Logged 10 stops at South Dakota (10/5/13) with a season-high 7 solo stops and 2 tackles for loss … Posted 6 solo tackles and a pass break-up in win at Western Illinois (10/26/13) to earn MSU Defensive Player of the Week … Had season-high 12 total stops against Northern Iowa (11/16/13) in season finale with 1.5 tackles for loss … Named to Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters as well as MVFC Commissioner’s Excellence Award and MVFC Honor Roll.

2012: Redshirted his first year at Missouri State … Named MSU Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year by the coaching staff … Earned Defensive Scout Team Player of the Week honors for week of South Dakota (10/13/12) victory … Also landed a spot on the MSU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll during the fall 2012 and spring 2013 semesters … Registered 7 tackles, 3 solo, and forced a fumble in the Maroon and White Game (4/20/13).


Q&A with Dylan Cole


1) Tell us a little about yourself. (Height, weight, school, position)

            Height: 6’1”

Weight: 240lbs

School: Missouri State University

Position: (Will) Outside Linebacker


2) What is your greatest strength or attribute as a player?

Since football is a team sport, I think my greatest attribute as a player is my natural ability to lead. I’m not sure what it is about me, but my teammates look to me for leadership, and I embrace it. I believe that player led teams are the best teams.


3) What made you decide on Missouri State to continue your football career?

I wanted to play in the highest division I could, but I also didn’t want to pay for school out of my own pocket. There were schools that were interested in me, but Missouri State seemed very passionate about getting me. They made me feel very wanted, and when I went on my visit, it just felt like home. No one can say no when they find a home.


4) Which player, that you’ve played against was the toughest to bring down?

I would have to say David Johnson when he played for UNI, who plays for the Arizona Cardinals now. I just remember my Redshirt Freshmen year trying to bring him down in open field on one play. I swear, it felt like 10 seconds past before I got him down.


5) What player at the next level, do you style your game after?

I’d like to say I have my own style of play, but if there is someone that I can compare my style to, it would have to be Luke Kuechly. He plays very smart, and he also plays sideline to sideline very well. I think we play similar in those aspects of the game.


6) What sets you apart from other Linebackers at this level?

Preparation. I try to prepare smarter and harder than every other linebacker. There’s a lot that goes into my definition of preparation. Speed, strength, power, diet, leading teammates, technique, and film study are key components to my preparation. If I pursue to be the strongest, fastest, most powerful, healthiest, smartest, best teammate, sharpest technique, and most film educated player I can be, I am confident that I will help my team win better than any other linebacker could at this level.


7) What is your motivation as a player?

I have a lot of motivations as a player, but my top motivation is absolutely my mom. She has worked so hard her entire life trying to support me and my siblings. She inspires me to keep pushing and working hard at everything I do. When things get hard, I think about my mom and how tough she is. Tough things aren’t such a struggle when you have the drive like my mom. I want to make sure she doesn’t have to work so hard anymore. She deserves it.


8) What is something that not many people know about you?

I love to sing. If you are around me enough, you will figure that out pretty quickly.


9) What are your parting words for the fans out there? What should they expect from Dylan Cole this upcoming season?

I’ve played football for about 15 years now, and I have a lot of people to thank for helping me get this far in my career. This season goes out to all my friends, family, teammates, fans, coaches, people who believed in me, and even the ones who didn’t believe in me. They all played an important role to help me get where I am today. Fans should know that after every game, I will walk off that field knowing that I had no more to give because I left it all out there. Not for me, but for them.