Though he was overlooked early on, Darius Anderson knew it would be possible for him to end up where he dreamed of being: on North Dakota State’s football roster.
Originally from Kapolei, Hawaii, the senior has had a unique journey to get to where he is today.
After one year playing with the Valley City State Vikings in 2011, Anderson took a leap of faith and decided it was time to make his move in order to achieve his ultimate goal.
“I got recruited by a lot of Division II and Division III schools, but I just had a chip on my shoulder. I wanted to see if I could play at a bigger level,” Anderson said. “After my first year at Valley City, I felt like I was playing high school football, and I wanted to see if I could play big time college football.
“So I just took a chance and went with it.”
Though Anderson has the skill and passion to be a part of the Bison, it also took a lot of courage to come to NDSU.
“I came here because I wanted to see if I could play at this level,” he explained. “When I came here, I didn’t know any of the players or any of the coaches.”
Following a successful walk-on tryout, Anderson was invited to the scout team where he further impressed coaches and teammates. Eventually, Anderson was able to see time in each of the 16 games last season — even in the FCS National Championship Game.
“I’ve been a part of a lot of big games here,” Anderson said. “But when it comes down to it the National Championship game and everybody’s watching; I mean it’s the only football game being played. I just don’t really have words for it.”
Though it was clear that the coaching staff found Anderson to be making impressive plays on the scout team, head coach Chris Klieman also speaks highly of him as a part of the team.
“He has accepted his role,” Klieman said. “He’s a guy that’s always warranted a few touches during each game, and we’ve been really pleased with how he’s played over the last couple of years.”
Although the season is bound to end at some point, Anderson has tried to keep the end in the back of his mind.
“I haven’t really thought about that yet because I’ve just been playing and it is hard to think about it,” Anderson said. “Like, this might be my last moment suiting up but right now, I’m not ready yet.”