When the Minot State University football team hosts the University of Mary on Saturday, the Beavers will contend with a couple area high school products playing a key role on the Marauders' defense.
John Oyloe, a junior defensive end from Williston, is tied for the team lead with 3.5 sacks and is fourth on the team in tackles. Sophomore outside linebacker Grant Singer, who played prep at Turtle Lake-Mercer-McClusky, is tied for second with 30 tackles and has two sacks for the 3-1 Marauders.
Mary coach Myron Schulz said both players fit well into the Marauders' 3-4 scheme, which emphasizes speed.
Submitted Photo • University of Mary junior defensive end John Oyloe, right, chases a University of Minnesota-Duluth ball carrier during a game last season. Photo courtesy of Mary sports information.
"They're athletic young men," said Schulz, who's in his 14th year as Mary's head coach. "They can run to the ball, they can attack. The next thing is they're smart. They're both very intelligent but it allows us to be more multiple on defense."
Schulz said Oyloe originally was recruited as a tight end, but his long arms, big frame and speed made him a natural as a defensive lineman and pass rusher. Oyloe led the Marauders with six sacks last season and was second on the team with 13.5 tackles for loss.
"I mainly like to use my speed on the field," said the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Oyloe. "Try to get around those offensive linemen, set 'em up with moves and use my speed to try to get around them."
Oyloe's skills are familiar to MSU coach Paul Rudolph, who recruited him out of high school.
"We tried to get John," Rudolph said. "He's a good player. He's strong, got long arms, fast."
Singer is on pace to easily exceed last season's total of 46 tackles.
"Grant's a tremendous player for us," Schulz said. "He's strong and agile and quick, all the things you gotta be able to do to be a run-stopper and a dual linebacker. He's just a very disciplined kid."
Singer, a high school teammate of MSU defensive tackle Ryan Rauhauser, said it's been enjoyable to play college ball close to home.
"It's pretty cool for the most part to be able to have family and other friends be able to be around," he said. "To play at the Division II level is pretty neat. It's something I never expected but I've been truly blessed with that."
Singer said he's excited about Mary and MSU renewing their series. The teams, former rivals in the Dakota Athletic Conference, haven't played since 2005.
"For the last few years, we haven't been able to play anyone else in North Dakota," Singer said. "Coach Schulz always talks about how we used to be rivals and it's going to start back up now that we're both DII. It should be fun and exciting."
The game will be televised on NBC North Dakota, with kickoff scheduled for 6:07 p.m.