A football team doesn’t win three straight FCS National Championships without having a connection with each player.
Defensive linemen Brad Ambrosius and Nate Tanguay are a perfect explanation of why the North Dakota State football coaches recruit players who already have a connection before they step foot on the Fargodome turf.
Both these two players are from Wisconsin, and Ambrosius said they knew each other a little bit before they came to NDSU to play football.
“We played a little basketball against each other in AAU once upon a time,” Ambrosius said. “I love Nate. He’s a good guy and being from the same state (and) we basically have the same characteristics, same likes and dislikes.”
Tanguay, a redshirt freshman, has started the last four games at defensive tackle for the Bison and said he couldn’t turn his eyes away from a school that had won championships in the previous years.
“When I came here it just felt like a family,” Tanguay said.
Ambrosius, a sophomore defensive end, said the tradition and coaching staff of NDSU stuck out to him.
“I really like the coaches here,” Ambrosius said. “Even though most of them left, I really think (NDSU) replaced them well.”
The two of them both had offers from a variety of the same schools, but both felt NDSU was the right choice.
“Brad called me the day I committed right before and said come on you gotta come here. We will room together, we will start and we will win championships,” Tanguay said. “I got all pumped up, and I committed right after that.”
During home games, the Bison crowd is one of the loudest in the county.
Ambrosius and Tanguay get pumped up every time they head out onto the field through the inflatable helmet-shaped tunnel.
“The fans here are unbelievable. I mean they give you support 100 percent of the tim. They don’t question you, and they’re always there for you when you need them,” Ambrosius said. “I love the fans here.”
“The Montana game was wild,” Tanguay added. “It was a great atmosphere, everything was loud and you couldn’t hear anything on the field. It was awesome.”
Ambrosius had his redshirt pulled last year and played in eight of the last nine games down the regular-season stretch and thought it was a great learning experience.
“I didn’t play much, but when I did play, I got to feel what the game was like and learn from the older guys that graduated last year,” Ambrosius said.
Pregame rituals are one of the biggest aspects of football and these two defensive linemen have almost the same ritual before every game – they both enjoy listening to heavy metal music before each contest.
Both these men will be in a Bison uniform for a few more years, but both want to be remembered somehow.
At the end of Ambrosius’s career, he’d like to be someone Bison can say, “He was a really good role player, and he helped us win a lot of games, and he knew what he had to do.”