Knoch graduate Bruggeman displays versatility at D-II Alderson Broaddus
If football were to ever label a single player as a utility man, former Knoch football standout and Alderson Broaddus quarterback Dakota Bruggeman would fit that definition.
“He has good size and athleticism and could probably play six different positions in our program,” Alderson Broaddus coach Dennis Creehan said. “We look for great things from Dakota as he matures in our program.”
Bruggeman’s maturation process began when he grabbed his tool box and decided to travel two hours south to Philippi, W.Va., to continue his football playing career.
The Battlers were in need of unique, multi-faceted athletes like the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Bruggeman. When Bruggeman, now a sophomore, arrived on campus his freshman year, the Alderson Broaddus football program only had been in existence for one season and needed to fill the roster with players who could play multiple positions.
“We don’t have a history or anything, so we’re kind of a work in progress,” Bruggeman said.
A Division II school, Alderson Broaddus (6-3) competes in the Great Midwestern Athletic Conference. Like the Alderson Broaddus football program, the G-MAC is only in its third year as a Division II conference.
“When I was being recruited, coach (Dennis) Creehan said I could be a part of something special,” Bruggeman said.
After putting in some spot duty at quarterback last season as a freshman, Bruggeman was edged out for the nod at starting quarterback early in the season by fellow sophomore Wilson Vaughn.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed with how I played, but I’ve always been a player who put the team first,” said Bruggeman about losing the quarterback competition.
Despite the minor setback, Bruggeman is still on track to accomplish the goals he set his freshman year.
“(My) goals were first to get some playing time, understand the offense, and be able to execute it,” said Bruggeman who holds a 3.3 GPA as a nursing major.
With his knowledge of the offense from a quarterback’s point-of-view and his experience at playing wide receiver in high school, Bruggeman asked his coaches if he could get on the field at the wide receiver position.
“Knowing where the receivers should be, where I would want the ball to be and I can relate to how wide receivers feel about running routes,” said Bruggeman about the benefits of playing wide receiver but from a quarterback’s perspective. “I know how to read the defense.”
Although he played defense during his high school days, Bruggeman has no plans to volunteer to play on that side of the ball. Instead, Bruggeman again told his coaches that he could also punt.
He has a 36-yard average, with his longest punt being 50-yards, so far this season.
“Dakota is a great kid and a very versatile athlete,” Creehan said.
William Whalen is a freelance writer.