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Weston Dressler, 2007 Harlon Hill Finalist

"Weston is the most dynamic player that I have ever had the opportunity to coach. He has re-written the UND records books and will leave behind records that may never again be challenged." 
            - Dale Lennon, University of North Dakota head football coach.

Dubbed 'Mr. Electricity' by Fighting Sioux play-by-play voice Dan Hammer, UND wide receiver Weston Dressler has continually brought Sioux fans to their feet with a dynamic blend of speed, athleticism, versatility and a flair for the dramatic.

When Dressler came to UND in 2004, Sioux observers quickly learned that a special talent had arrived when it was announced that he would play as a true freshman, joining current NFLer Jim Kleinsasser as the only Sioux players in recent history to bypass a redshirt season.

Four years later, Dressler has made UND's record books his own personal vitae, staking claim to an astonishing 19 school records, many of which may never again be approached. However, although he will graduate as the most prolific offensive player in more than 100 years of Fighting Sioux football, Dressler is more than just a productive football player. An outstanding student and a leader in the community, both on and off campus, Dressler embodies a Harlon Hill Trophy candidate in every way and is the prototypical student-athlete:

*Video courtesy WDAZ sports department and will open in new window

 

On the Field

Dressler burst onto the Division II football scene in 2004 as the most explosive return specialist in the nation, leading all NCAA Divisions in punt return yardage (613) as a freshman. He followed that debut season with a school-record four special teams return touchdowns in a sophomore in 2005 and has since evolved into the most decorated receiver in UND history.

Last year Dressler led all Division II players with 90 receptions and set school records with 1,215 receiving yards and 16 touchdown receptions and broke his own UND single-season record for all-purpose yards with 2,027.

This season Dressler has become the first player in school history to put up back-to-back 1,000-yard receving seasons, as well as the first player with two seasons of 10 or more receiving touchdowns, while once again ranking at or near the top of every national receiving category. Just for good measure, Dressler also broke his own UND single-season receiving record with 1,272 yards.

Dressler's individual performance has led to team successes throughout his collegiate career, as he has helped lead the Sioux into the NCAA postseason in each of his four years, winning a pair of North Central Conference championships along the way.

For a complete list of Dressler statistics, please click here.

Records

Dressler's on-field accomplishments are quickly put into perspective when you consider that his 19 school records (and counting) is a school-record in itself. Virtually every significant receiving, special teams and all-purpose yardage standard at UND will belong to Dressler by the time he graduates. Some of the records he already owns include:

  • Career receiving yards: 3,382
  • Career receptions: 243
  • Career touchdown receptions: 38
  • Career all-purpose yards: 7,072
  • Career punt return yards: 1,698
  • Career kick return yards: 1,478
  • Single-season receiving yards: 1,272
  • Single-season touchdown receptions: 16

For a complete list of Dressler accomplishments at UND, please click here.

Dressler vs. Top 25/Postseason

What separates Dressler from many is his ability to continually rise to the occasion in the "big game." In 15 career games - the equivalent of a full season - against either nationally-ranked opponents or during postseason games, Dressler has caught 107 passes for more than 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns, while racking up more than 2,000 all-purpose yards. Among the more memorable performences:

  • Had 10 catches for 122 yards and season-high 225 all-purpose yards in NCAA quarterfinals at #1 Grand Valley St.
  • Scored game-winning 50-yard touchdown with 54 seconds remaining at #2 (DI-FCS) Northern Iowa
  • Tied UND record with 15 receptions for 159 yards and a touchdown at #12 Nebraska-Omaha

For a game-by-game look at Dressler's big game performances, please click here.

Awards/Accomplishments

Dressler has already distinguished himself as the most decorated receiver in UND history and will undoubtedly collect more hardware as his senior season winds down. This season, in addition to being named a Harlon Hill candidate, Dressler earned All-NCC First Team honors at three different positions, believed to be a first in NCC history. He also became just the fourth player in NCC history to earn all-conference first team honors in each of his four seasons. In 2006, Dressler was a national Harlon Hill Trophy candidate while garnering six All-America first team accolades. He is also a multi-time All-NCC selection at dual positions. Among the highlights:

  • Two-time Harlon Hill Trophy candidate
  • Seven All-America honors
  • Four-time All-North Central Conference selection (three positions)
  • 2006-07 Bismarck Tribune Sportsman of the Year

For a complete list of Dressler's awards, please click here.

 

*Video courtesy WDAZ sports department and will open in new window.

 

 

What opposing coaches are saying...

“It's a nightmare playing against him. It's like playing against one of those guys on those X-Box video games. He's got all those jump cuts. He's got speed. He's just one of those little guys who makes plays. He's one of the best players who we've played against while I've been here.”
 South Dakota head coach Ed Meierkort to the Grand Forks Herald

“They really center a lot of their game around him and you know that going in, and yet you still can't stop him. He's one of the most unique (players) I've seen in a long time.”
  Nebraska-Omaha head coach Pat Behrns to the St. Cloud Times

“Weston Dressler has been a premier player in the NCC and the entire country throughout his collegiate career. When preparing to defend North Dakota, you begin by trying to devise a plan to slow down #18. His versatility is what makes him so difficult to defend; he has the ability to change the game as a return man, a pass receiver or by running the football. He creates momentum for his team in many different ways and I truly believe he is the key to the offensive yardage and point production for his football team.”
  Minnesota Duluth head coach Kyle Schweigert

What the media is saying...

“I can't remember many players who have had a bigger impact on the Fighting Sioux program than Weston Dressler. He is a dynamic player who has the ability to change the course of a game every time he touches the ball. North Dakota coaches decided to play Dressler as a true freshman in 2004 and they say that was one of the best decisions they've made. As impressive as Dressler is on the field, he's just as impressive with him off the field as he excels in the classroom and is the first to volunteer his time in the community.”
  Veteran Grand Forks Herald sportswriter Wayne Nelson, an observer of Sioux football for more than 30 years.

What another legendary Sioux receiver is saying...

“He has great hands. He can find a way to get open, either against man-to-man or zone defenses. And when he catches it, he knows what to do with it. He can play the game, no doubt about it.”
  Former UND wide receiver Ron Gustafson (to the Grand Forks Herald), who held UND’s  single-season receiving record for 33 years until it was broken by Dressler.

 

In the Classroom

Despite the lofty standards he has set on the playing field, Dressler has been just as successful in the classroom, where he carries a 3.75 grade point average as a management major with plans to attend graduate school in sports management. For the second consecutive season, Dressler has been named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America first team - a first in UND football history - and is a multiple selection to the Academic All-NCC team and the NCC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll. He is also the only two-time UND Student-Athlete of the Month. Earlier this fall, Dressler was named a national semifinalist for the prestigious Draddy Trophy, the highest academic honor in NCAA football. Among the highlights:

  • 2007 Draddy Trophy semifinalist
  • 2007 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America first team
  • 2006 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America first team
  • Three-time selection to the Academic All-NCC team and NCC Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll
  • 3.75 GPA (Management)

Throughout the Community

Dressler has also made an impact on Grand Forks, N.D., and the surrounding community during his tenure as a football player for the University of North Dakota. Here is a sampling of the activites Dressler routinely lends his time to:

  • Sigma Iota Epsilon - A management honor society and professional fraternity that conducts programs designed to bride the gap between management theory and management practices.
  • Elementary school volunteer - Helped with the 2007 Century Elementary School carnival and regularly reads to kindergarten classes. Speaker at 2007 Thompson Elementary Red Ribbon Week celebration.
  • Special Olympics
  • Big Event - A UND student program dedicated to helping the community, by cleaning local parks or yards for the elderly and other charitable work.
  • Adapt Peer Educators - Led student group that helps educate student-athletes about responsible alcohol use

 

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