Fylling shines in defense for VCSU

10/02/08 (Thu)

Although Valley City State University defensive coordinator Gregg Horner has held his position since 1996, he says Turtle Lake’s Jake Fylling might be his equal when it comes to knowledge of the Vikings defense.

With his intelligence and dedication to the game, the son of Byron and Laura Fylling has made himself into a valued component and leader on the VCSU defense. Fylling, who rotates as a starter at inside linebacker, is now in his fourth and final season with the Vikings.

"Jake knows our defense as well as I do - probably better," said Horner, who is also VCSU’s assistant head football coach. "He is like having a coach on the field. He is not a big linebacker by any means but finds ways to make plays!"

Through four games this season, Fylling, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior, has made five solo and 11 assisted tackles. He has also broken up one pass. Last season Fylling ranked seventh on the team in tackles with 25 solo and 26 assisted in 10 games.

During his time at VCSU Fylling has taken care of business off the field as well as on. A former Dakota Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete team member, Fylling was tabbed last season as an NAIA Academic All-American. The honor is presented to outstanding student-athletes who have a grade point average of more than 3.5 and are at least a junior. Fylling is majoring in technology education and will graduate in the spring of 2009.

As well as his academic success and football prowess, the way Fylling conducts himself has also earned him respect around campus.

"He is a great young man who cares about his teammates and doing the right thing," Horner said. "Our staff will do anything for him."

Fylling has certainly enjoyed his four season at VCSU. He remembers being part of the Vikings conference championship squad as a freshman in 2005. His all-time favorite on-field memory? It came in 2006 when the Vikings beat their rivals from Jamestown College, 7-6, on the road.

"The best part of playing football at VCSU is getting a chance to play on Saturdays," Fylling wrote in an email interview. "Also, we have a team that really gets along well and it is fun to be a part of that."

After all his seasons, what keeps Fylling lacing up his cleats?

"I love to play football," he wrote. "I enjoy the roughness and the nastiness it takes to play."

In each of his seasons at VCSU, Fylling has seen his playing time and role increase.

"With that comes more responsibility for knowing what I have to do on the field and knowing what everyone else has to do," he wrote.

Noticing his quiet intensity and knowledge of the game, Fylling’s teammates look up to him, his coach said.

"His defensive teammates understand that he knows what he is doing," Horner said. "They look to him for answers on and off the football field. Jake is not a captain but is a true leader on our team."


Fylling shines in defense for VCSU