Every football team has standout football players: the guys who catch people’s eyes and become known entities. But a football roster carries way more than four or five players. Eleven men play at a time, and each athlete must perform his role for a team to attain success.
C.J. Ham’s athleticism qualifies him as one of the most captivating football players at Augustana. He has big shoes to fill next year, as he will replace senior running back and captain Dajon Newell. Ham solidified himself as Newell’s eventual successor last year, rushing for 422 and four touchdowns.
In his redshirt freshman season, he rushed for a career high 105 yards against Upper Iowa.
“I need to do my job every time I step on the field,” Ham said. “I have to do my [part] to help this team be successful.”
Head coach Jerry Olszewski thinks he can do just that.
“Ham is an incredible football player. When we pair him up with Newell we have a pretty explosive back field,” Olszewski said.
Redshirt freshman Jordan Johnson starts the season attempting to stablilize an Augustana secondary that often struggled last season. He must learn on the fly, instantly starting after redshirting last season.
“The tempo of the game is way faster than high school football,” Johnson said. “I have to go out there and compete every play.”
Johnson must step up for Augustana’s youthful secondary to compete with the NSIC’s top air attacks.
Brandon Mohr started his college football career at South Dakota State before transferring to Augustana after his freshman year.
“Playing on this team means so much to me, because I basically grew up an Augustana football fan,” Mohr, whose father is a former Augustana football player, said.
“He is a huge presence on the field for us,” Olszewski said. “He has stepped up in the past, and we are looking for a huge season out of him.”
Mohr, a junior linebacker, was named Second Team All-NSIC South Division as a sophomore last year, tallying 92 total tackles, good for tenth in the conference.