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Tom Mix, Published June 24 2013

Super Bowl champ, former Bison Dahl plays in Maris tourney

FARGO – Former North Dakota State football standout Craig Dahl got a good look at the San Francisco 49ers, playing the last four years for NFC West Division-rival St. Louis.

This fall, the 6-foot-1, 212-pound Dahl will be getting an even better look when he begins his seventh professional football season playing within the talented, highly physical 49ers defense.

Dahl, 28, signed a free-agent contract with San Francisco in March and will be rotating at the safety position this upcoming season.

“Both of their safeties are interchangeable, so it’s a benefit to play and learn both positions,” said Dahl, who was back in Fargo golfing on Monday during the 30th annual Roger Maris Celebrity Golf Tournament at Rose Creek Golf Course.

San Francisco, defending NFC champions from a year ago, has built up its defense for several years and Dahl hopes he can contribute.

Dahl posted 78 tackles and an interception for the Rams last season.

“I have to understand my role and fit in when I can,” Dahl said. “It should be a fun side of the ball to play in San Francisco.

“This year they had an added emphasis on boosting their special teams,” Dahl added. “I’ve played special teams my entire career. I’m no stranger to that.”

The 49ers ranked sixth in team defense allowing 398.7 total yards per game last season. San Francisco has made it to the NFC championship game the last two seasons and is coming off a 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.

Dahl also has the opportunity to play under some-times outspoken and controversial 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.

“Coach Harbaugh is a great leader,” Dahl said. “He comes off as a little different, but he is very eager and hungry. He has a plan and executes it very well.”

Dahl has posted 321 tackles, four interceptions and three sacks in his NFL career. He won a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants in 2007, just a year removed from wrapping up his collegiate career with the Bison.

While at NDSU, Dahl played in 43 games and recorded 238 tackles, seven interceptions and two sacks earning first-team All-Great West Football Conference honors as a senior.

Since Dahl’s departure from the program, NDSU has become a NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision power. NDSU has won back-to-back FCS national championships and will be trying for three-peat this fall.

“I’m a proud Bison alum,” Dahl said. “They have done really well for themselves. I’m proud of the program and proud of where it is at right now.

“It’s been great following them in my post-college career.”


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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562