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Mudder dominating up front for DWU

Whether he is getting quarterback sacks or tackles in the backfield, Brady Mudder brings a physical presence to the Dakota Wesleyan football team. The senior defensive end has been a key cog for the Tigers' defensive front the past four seasons. ...

Dakota Wesleyan's Brady Mudder (90) splits the double team block of Northwestern's Taylor Kooi (56) and Tate Kellenberger (77) during Saturday's game at Joe Quintal Field. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Dakota Wesleyan's Brady Mudder (90) splits the double team block of Northwestern's Taylor Kooi (56) and Tate Kellenberger (77) during Saturday's game at Joe Quintal Field. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Whether he is getting quarterback sacks or tackles in the backfield, Brady Mudder brings a physical presence to the Dakota Wesleyan football team.

The senior defensive end has been a key cog for the Tigers' defensive front the past four seasons. He leads the team in sacks (six), tackles for loss (12) and is fifth in tackles (41).

But individual statistics aside, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Mudder leads DWU with his physical play.

"I have always been a physical guy and I have always had that trait," Mudder said.

That physicality has helped turn Mudder into one of the best defensive ends in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, said DWU coach Ross Cimpl.

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"He is a physical presence for us," Cimpl said. "He is a super-athletic kid and he works his tail off. You always know what you are going to get from Brady."

Mudder, who hails from Garretson, joined the Tigers in 2013. He didn't redshirt his first season and started his first collegiate game for DWU.

"The speed of the game was definitely a lot different coming into college," Mudder said. "I knew if I put my mind to it and worked as hard as I could, I knew could accomplish about anything."

Mudder recorded 67 tackles his first two seasons, but he cranked it up a notch in 2015. He was an All-GPAC first-team selection and led the team in sacks (10.5), tackles for loss (20.5) and totaled 53 tackles.

"I just wanted to have a breakout year and I knew I could," Mudder said about last season. "I have been pretty successful my whole career and then last year, I don't know what it was, something got in me and I just wanted to be a game changer."

As a result, Cimpl can notice opposing offenses have been game planning for Mudder this season.

"If you really watch our game film from last year compared to this year, he is getting a lot of attention from offensive linemen and running backs in the pass game protection especially," Cimpl said. "He doesn't get a lot of one-on-one matchups."

Double teams don't stop Mudder from thwarting the plans of opposing offenses.

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"I just have to play my game and just keep doing my job," Mudder said. "It shouldn't really affect me. I know what to do. If they are going to do stuff like that, then I will just have to work harder."

Mudder and the defensive line are coming off perhaps their best game of the season. DWU had five sacks and three forced fumbles against Northwestern College last week, a 44-27 home victory. Mudder was responsible for 3.5 sacks, five tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

The win was DWU's fourth straight. The No. 14 Tigers are 6-2 overall and 4-1 in GPAC play, heading into Saturday's battle against No. 5 Morningside College (6-1, 5-0).

It will be the final game of a three-game homestand for the Tigers and also their last regular season home contest of the season. DWU will be on the road for Mudder's final two regular season games, at Briar Cliff and at Midland.

"I am enjoying every moment and opportunity that I get," Mudder said, "and taking advantage of every little thing I can do and it is just awesome being a part of a program like this. It has been a blessing to play here."

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