When the clock hit triple zeroes on Saturday, the MSU-Northern Lights could’ve hung their heads after a their second straight loss this season. But the team had something to be proud of: An NFL scout from the Oakland Raiders was watching from the sidelines, taking notes on one of the Lights’ seniors.
Head coach Andrew Rolin said it was a huge positive for the Maroon and Gold.
“That was a good opportunity for our guys to be seen at the next level,” said Rolin. “If you’re good enough to play, they’ll find you at any level. There’s guys that have come out of this conference and played in the NFL, so those scouts are gonna find ya. They’re gonna turn over every stone to find the guys that can play at that next level, so it was exciting to have him there.”
Senior offensive lineman Darius Alexander-Jones II was the player being watched, and is someone that Rolin says has become a vital to heartbeat of the lights football program.
“I love that kid, I’ll be the first to say that. He’s a joy to coach and I think he plays the game the right way. He’s tough and nasty up front,” said Rolin. “He was voted a team captain by his teammates, so he’s the leader up front with our offensive line, but I think as an offensive unit, and with the team, he’s viewed as a leader. He shows it in his work ethic, he shows it with his attitude and he shows it in the way he plays, so I think he’s grown tremendously on and off the field.”
Now this isn’t the first time an NFL scout has checked out Northern, and Rolin says him being there didn’t really change the goals for the team - the main focus is still to win football games.
“You know, it’s nice to have those guys scouts there, and that’s not the first guy who’s been out there, but to them, I think our guys are worried about the game, and about winning the game. That’s why we’re here - we’re here to win. And so, we’re always welcoming to have those guys here, and if one of our guys is good enough to do it, good enough to play, then I hope they get that chance, but I think our guys, their motivation is to win the football game.”
The Lights will be back on the road this Saturday, September 21 for a matchup with Carroll College.
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