Wisniewski Becoming Mr. Reliable for NDSU’s Defense
Has made most of opportunities coming in for an injured James Kaczor
FARGO, N.D — Linebacker Cole Wisniewski has become Mr. Reliable for North Dakota State’s defense. When there is a injury to another backer, the sophomore steps in and makes the most of the opportunity.
Having last season’s leading tackler, James Kaczor out day-to-day with a core injury, Wisniewski came in to make six tackles. That wasn’t the only time having to fill in for Kaczor. Wisniewski did the same in the spring making his first two starts in the playoffs and totaling a career-high nine tackles against Eastern Washington.
So far this fall, he already has 16 tackles through five games. A lot of the credit goes to that experience from the spring and work on special teams.
Confidence. Knowing I have the ability to play,” Wisniewski said. “Not only to have the ability but going out there and having the confidence I can do it and the players around me trust in me. There have been players for generations now who have made their mark on special teams. That’s helped me with the fundamentals of football. Whether its tackling or getting off blocks or block construction. Special teams really is the foundation for becoming a good football player.”
Wisniweski has now played 15 games alongside fellow linebackers and seniors Jasir Cox and Jackson Hankey who have helped him in more ways then one. Also being from a small town of 9,000 people in Sparta Wisconsin has helped him build bonds with many of his teammates.
“Those guys are amazing for me and my development. Their super supportive in everything I do even when I make a mistake,” Wisniewski said. “They are the first ones to help me correct it and get back and get me positive. They stay so positive around me and that helps me grow as a player. I think it’s just a comradery thing that we can come together and talk about our small town experiences. The more comradery we have, the better we are as a team.”
Head coach Matt Entz said even when Kaczor gets back fully healthy there will be ways to get Wisniewski involved in the linebacker rotation after the impact he’s made.