For Rochelle Township High School graduate and former All-Conference player Matt Albers, the football experience at Augustana College continues to get better and better.
Albers appeared in seven games for the Vikings in his junior season, totaling four carries for 34 yards including a 14-yard haul during the team’s dominant 71-0 win over North Park. Defensively, Albers totaled two tackles in Augustana’s season-opener against Elmhurst College and recorded an 8-yard tackle-for-loss against Wheaton College. The Vikings finished 6-4.
“I felt this year that I had more of a mentor role for the new guys we had coming into the running back room and playing on special teams,” Albers said. “I felt obligated to help the guys out as much as possible to understand how our programs runs and the expectations we have. I felt that I could relate to the guys because I was in their shoes two years ago.”
Albers said his most fond memory from his third season with the Vikings was the team’s showdown against Millikin, which was delayed several hours due to a storm before Augustana ultimately pulled out a 40-14 victory. As Albers prepares for his senior season, he said he aims to earn a starting running back position on what could be an elite offensive unit.
“I hope to be one of the many weapons that will contribute to possible one of the top offenses in the country,” Albers said. “We all felt there was definitely a monkey lifted off our backs after the win over Millikin and we know we can take the next step and become one of the top teams in our conference. Like every other season, I kept up the constant work in the weight room to try and get stronger. This year, I worked a lot on my hands and my route running.”
Albers said his biggest goal is to become a multidimensional playmaker for the Vikings next season, which kicks off with a home game against Rhodes College on Sept. 5, 2020. He said he’s constantly staying in touch with his teammates, talking to as many as two or three each day.
“I’ve created so many close bonds with these guys that I know we’ll do anything for each other,” Albers said. “I want my game to be multidimensional to where I can keep the defense on its toes, run down its throat or open up holes for our quarterbacks, running backs or wide receivers. I think I can release out of the backfield and be a mismatch with my height and size. I want to be the Swiss Army knife.”