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Football

Safety First

By Andrew Jason

Craig Dahl is on one of the top safetys in NDSU history. Bison illustrated caught up with dahl to talk bison, super bowls and how to succeed in this competitive sport.

 

BI: As a kid did you ever think your career would get this far?

Dahl: You always dream of it. Growing up in Mankato, I was around the Vikings and the training camps, and my parents had season tickets. So, I followed them real close. I always dreamt about it, but I guess you never really have an understanding of what it takes — how far you have to go and how much you have to overcome to make it to the NFL.

BI: How did your time at NDSU help you?

Dahl: I thought it was a great experience for me. We made the championship; the Athletic Director definitely increased our stregnth of schedule, playing teams like Minnesota and Ball State. The Great West conference that we were in was a good league as well. You see a handful of people out of those smaller schools that end up being successful in the NFL. It shows the talent you play against each week.

BI: How did you feel about being at the Bison Championship Game last year?

Dahl: Unfortunately, we didn’t make the postseason, so it gave me a little time to make a trip to Dallas to see NDSU win a championship. It was a great atmosphere, great support from the community. It was amazing how much green and gold were down there.

BI: What advice do you have for up and coming players?

Dahl: I always tell people that complacency will get you out of the NFL as fast as you got in. Always try to achieve greatness and never settle for anything less. Keep striving for your goals. Dreams do come true. It takes one opportunity, some good grace and a lot of hard work.

BI: Talk about how it felt to be part of the Super Bowl team.

Dahl: It was a challenging season. We started off our first two games getting beat pretty badly so we stepped up as a team, adjusted and said things needed to be changed. We started playing better as a team, and playing unselfish football and got on a hot streak. We ended up winning 11 straight games on the road. For a team to do that is pretty remarkable. You could tell the momentum and the confidence level changed in the team. Guys started working together and it started steamrolling us through the playoffs. Even though we lost the last regular season against the Patriots we played them very tight and competitive. We knew that if we played our best we could beat them. It gave the team all the momentum going into the postseason to beat them.

Highlights

2004

Started career with Bison: Played in 43 games and posted 238 tackles, intercepted seven passes and was named as the defensiveback to the All-Time Great West Football Team.

2007

Signed with the New York Giants as a safety: Played for the Giants for one season where he garnered 19 tackles in 9 games.

2008

Won a Super Bowl ring with the Giants: He tore his ACL in the last regular season game and was unable to play in the Super Bowl.

2009

Signed with the St. Louis Rams: Signed on as a starting safety. Since joining the Rams, he has had 223 tackles.

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