Walk-on fullback gets his shot at NDSU
FARGO -- He's a football rebel all right. In college, too. In August, Jedre Cyr from the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Rebels went against the grain of what level most college coaches thought would suit him best and decided to do what he's always wante...
FARGO -- He's a football rebel all right. In college, too.
In August, Jedre Cyr from the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Rebels went against the grain of what level most college coaches thought would suit him best and decided to do what he's always wanted to do: Play football at North Dakota State.
The only catch is he would have to walk on.
"You're as low as the totem pole comes," he said. "The biggest thing is you have to keep fighting."
He's still there, fighting. The redshirt freshman has completed two spring football practices and he's finding himself somewhere in the backup mix. If the season started today, he would probably be the No. 3 fullback behind starter Andrew Grothmann and freshman Andrew Bonnet.
It still may be awhile before Cyr sees the Fargodome field on a Saturday, but he said he's in it for the long haul anyway.
"I'm not going to quit," he said. "If it gets hard, I'm not going to end it. I'm going to keep working hard and do what I can do."
The position, in one sense, is made for a walk-on -- a player can make up for a lack of breakaway speed with strength and toughness. Fargo Shanley's Drew Hushka did the same thing a few years ago and ended up starting three games by the time he was a junior in 2009.
Cyr, whose hometown is Glyndon, Minn., got the most recruiting attention from Minnesota State Moorhead and Concordia.
He set a school record for most tackles in one season with 74 as a middle linebacker.
He did carry the ball twice, but that was more like one of those put-the-big-guy-in-the-backfield coaching moves that paid off with one touchdown.
A fullback in the NDSU offense is essentially an extension of the offensive line, with the exception of catching a pass once in awhile. So, if you can block, you have a chance.
Cyr is a 6-foot, 235-pound former high school offensive lineman.
"The prototypical fullback body type," said NDSU running backs coach Tyler Roehl. "His work ethic will get him farther than anything else I can see right now. He studies the playbook. He listens."
NDSU already lost one fullback from last season when Berkley Grimm, who played as a true freshman, decided to transfer. None of the 17 high school players who committed on signing day in February is a fullback.
"The fullback has got to have the mentality to work hard and I think that's what most walk-ons have to have," Cyr said. "Nothing is handed to them. They have to earn it themselves and they're paying for it with their own money."
Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.