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Forum staff reports, Published December 28 2012

Lund flattered by award

FARGO – The football idol for Joe Lund growing up in the Twin Cities was former University of Minnesota offensive lineman Greg Eslinger. It was always Lund’s dream to follow in his footsteps as a Gophers star, but that didn’t happen.

But this week, the two have something in common besides playing in the state of North Dakota. Eslinger, from Bismarck, was a Rimington Trophy winner in 2005 that goes to the outstanding center in each player’s division.

Lund received the same honor in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision.

“I never dreamed of winning it,” Lund said. “It was pretty mindboggling.”

Lund didn’t know he was even up for the award when NDSU offensive line coach Scott Fuchs called him to tell him the good news. He’s still not aware of the process of how each winner is selected, but he’s now in the same NDSU company as Rob Hunt, who won the award in 2004.

“Anything that has Rob Hunt’s name in it is a good accomplishment,” Lund said.

Hunt was a draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts. Lund isn’t sure if his future includes a professional shot, but he’s got other football to concentrate on for now. NDSU plays Sam Houston State for the FCS national title next Saturday.

“Three years ago, we were not getting a whole lot of recognition,” Lund said of the 3-8 season. “When the team does well, the awards will start to come.”

With class in semester break, it’s been all football for the Bison senior and his teammates.

“Eat and sleep football,” he said. “It’s been like fall camp, but now we have one team to work for.”

The Twin Cities produced a good year for centers. St. Thomas University’s Curtis James, a senior from Edina, Minn., was the NCAA Division III Rimington winner. Lund, from Bloomington Kennedy, played against James’ team in high school.

The 13th Rimington Trophy presentation will be Jan. 12 in Lincoln, Neb. Barrett Jones of Alabama was the FBS winner.

Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was an All-American center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia