#67 Cordell Volson
Can you speak to that chemistry the offensive line has and how it helps you guys going through this transition phase with a new position coach?
That’s something that all of us take a lot of pride in. It’s the Kubas brothers, Zach Willis, Cody [Mauch], a bunch of North Dakota kids that grew up watching North Dakota State play football. I don’t think it matters who’s at the helm, it’s going to be us playing for each other because we’re only as good as our weakest link. It’s always just playing for the guy next to you. In the offensive line room, it doesn’t matter if one guy messes up, the whole unit looks bad. We have a really tight- knit group and a really good brotherhood. I think that is what continues to make the Rams a special group. It’s been that way, my whole time here and I hope it continues to be that way after I’m gone.
How much easier does the situation get because your new position coach was someone already on staff? Does having a relationship with coach Larson help the transition?
Having a familiar face is always a good thing. Being an older guy, I think it makes for more challenges, too. Now, we’re taking coaching from a different point of view. We’re learning schemes a different way and we’re learning from a different teacher. It helps you kind of refocus and sharpen the pencil even more with locking into the little details.
It just helps us stay sharp too. Having a familiar face, it’s huge because we’re already comfortable with him and we already have a relationship with him. It’s not some, you know, guy that we’ve never met, right? He understands how we do things in this program. You could be the sharpest o-line coach and come in here and not fit in. It’s just the way that we do things around here, it’s just different. That’s why I think it’s great to have a familiar face in the room.
How much accountability have you taken on yourself to bring some of those young guys along to help the positions that are now open?
I want to leave the place better than I found it, but that has been a new challenge. We’re going to really rely on a lot of the younger guys this year. I’ve really tried to take that on myself to help make sure that those guys are ready to play. In this game, one guy could go down and it’s always the next man up. Being ready when your number is called is something that we want to work on.
What have been some of the biggest challenges for you specifically over the course of this extended break that you guys have had?
It’s been a struggle for me because I’m a fifth-year senior. I know the NCAA put some things in place now where you can come back and play in the fall, and whatnot, but right away I thought I was done playing football. That was kind of the biggest burden for me is because I grew up playing this game and you never know when that last opportunity is going to be out there. It didn’t really hit home until this fall.
I’m really glad that Zach Kubas is still here. He is a guy that I came in with and we’re really good friends. He’s like a brother to me and it’s great to have him around just to lean on each other through this. It’s one of those things where you just take it day by day, improve every single day because you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.
Have these circumstances made you cherish the little moments even more?
Definitely. Even if it’s just a couple of guys who want to go eat one night,
you jump on the opportunities that you maybe would have put on the backburner before. Hanging on to the little things because those are the things that you’re going to remember. I mean, you’re not going to remember what pressure South Dakota State brought on third and nine. You’re going to remember those times that you spent in the locker room with your teammates and the real relationships that you built.