Kyle Steffes played three of his four spectacular seasons at North Dakota State without having the chance to win a national championship.
As he celebrated the Bison football team’s 17-6 win over Sam Houston State in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision title game on Saturday afternoon from the FC Dallas Stadium stands in Frisco, Texas, Steffes couldn’t help but think he and his teammates played a small part in the story.
“It makes you feel like you contributed to what’s going on now, the national title,” Steffes said. “It feels really good just to see those guys win the national title today.”
Steffes, a Dickinson Trinity High School graduate, became NDSU’s second all-time leading rusher from 2003-06.
His redshirt freshman season in 2003 was NDSU head coach Craig Bohl’s first season and their last in NCAA Division II. Steffes’ next three seasons, NDSU was not eligible for the FCS playoffs because of its transition to Division I.
During his senior season in 2006, the Bison finished the year ranked No. 4 in the FCS with a 10-1 record, their only loss a 10-9 setback to the University of Minnesota. That team remains one that still makes many Bison fans wonder, ‘what if?’
Steffes, however, said the teams he played on know their place in school history and can now celebrate that it helped NDSU build toward what it accomplished Saturday.
“You feel kind of like a part of it,” Steffes said.