With more than two feet of snow on the ground, it’s hard to imagine playing football, but on Feb. 6, the MSUM Dragon football program took a step in that direction with National Signing Day.
The Dragons had 19 players sign national letters of intent to play at MSUM. The team signed 12 players on the offensive side of the ball. The remaining seven will play on the defensive side.
“That was a big area for us, signing the offensive linemen,” said head football coach Steve Laqua. “It creates some competition in the program. The more competition, the better for everyone involved partly because we’ve created a positive and respectful culture that brings out the best in them.”
Laqua said there could be as many as three or four starters on both sides of the ball out of this recruiting class.
Laqua credits the MSUM coaching staff that works day in and day out to create positive interactions with coaches and schools that has allowed for building a lot of credibility for the program.
“We feel the past two classes have been tremendous,” Laqua said. “There have been a lot of leaders in last years class, and I think this class fits just like the last with the culture we wanted to create in our program.”
Laqua said he believes if people do the things that winners are doing, then they will end up winning. If the team recruits players who do the things winners do, the team will end up on the path to winning.
“We felt we could be aggressive in recruiting because we had such a young team,” Laqua said. “We were able to take two steps forward instead of just one … I believe people will see we are able to offer more than just a football experience, it’s about preparing guys for the game of life.”
Laqua said the ultimate goal is to compete on a national level, and to be that, a program needs to be consistent year after year.
“We choose to build the program from the bottom up and we feel we’ve gotten two solid classes in the process,” Laqua said. “It takes about five good years to build and we’ve been here for two, we want to do things around here better than they have been done before.”
This years signing day also marked the first time the event was broadcast live with Dragon athletics.
“We have a plan here,” he said, “and we are following the plan and the plan is leading us to successful future.”
BY BREANN LENZMEIER
PHOTO BY CAMERON AAKRE