Skip to main content

REFLECTIONS

Lead Summary

Football indeed gets in your blood. Just ask Mankato State star football player Gabe Hagen, who is also a graduate of Blooming Prairie High School.
You can even ask former Minnesota Viking star linebacker Scott Studwell (55), and he will agree.
This column will promote next week's column, which will be an in-depth interview with Hagen, a member of the 2019 state championship football team, the Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms. The 2021 Awesome Blossoms are on the road for a second state crown.
Some day, Hagen may don a National Football League (NFL) suit like Studwell.
In this column I make some comparisons of this college athlete, Hagen, with Studwell. Both are gifted athletes who also have their heads screwed on right. Following the end of his playing career, Studwell was the head of Vikings scouting.
Hagen and Studwell share a love for the game and both also share a love for their families. These two athletes differ in the fact that Hagen plays offense and Studwell was a defensive star.                                                                                                                 
Had Studwell not retired two years ago, he would be scouting some prime college players who might have a chance to some day play professional football.
This column will focus on Studwell mainly because I met Studwell last weekend at a Norske Torske Klubben (NORWEGIAN) dinner meeting. Studwell was there to promote his new book entitled "Viking for Life, a Four-Decade Football Love Affair.” The book was co-authored by Jim Bruton.
Studwell's career spanned more than four decades with the same organization, the Minnesota Vikings. He totaled a Vikings record 1,981 tackles in 14 seasons, reaching two Pro Bowls. He logged 28 years in the Vikings Scouting Department.
After retiring as a player following the 1990 season, Studwell moved into the Vikings' player personnel department and served as the team's director of college scouting.
In his speech for more than 200 men of Norwegian background, Studwell said he believed in the values of effort, determination and talent. He praised Minnesotans for having genuine traits.
He said today's athletes are bigger, stronger and well educated.
Talking about the professional game, Studwell said the game has changed, in that it is much flashier today and it has become much more physical.
Studwell graciously accepted questions from the audience. He was asked about his thoughts on offensive and defensive celebrations after a big play is made. "I don't mind the celebrations; if I would have celebrated after every tackle I made, we would still be on the football field."
Studwell was also asked if he carried some physical injuries with him today. "I have all my joints and believe I was one of the lucky ones to escape serious injuries," he said.
He also commented on some players struggling today financially because they have made some bad decisions.
Asked to tell the crowd about his personal background, Studwell said he was born in Evansville, Ind. He played college ball with the University of Illinois. He was drafted in the ninth round by the Vikings.
Read Studwell's book and you will learn that Studwell had the highest admiration from former Viking coaches Bud Grant and Jerry Burns. "Playing for Bud Grant was an experience," Studwell remarked. He praised him as a coach, mentor and person.
"Everything Bud said made so much sense," commented Studwell.
Grant did not let the players get close to him, with the exception of Jim Marshall (70) and Francis Tarkenton (10). "He kept to himself," Studwell said. "He had a great feel for people and he was a fascinating guy. I have lots of respect for Bud."
This is what Grant says about Studwell: "He was not big enough, strong enough, or fast enough; all he was, was good enough."
Speaking about his scouting job, Studwell said his aim was always to take the best football player available in the draft. He emphasized that the game is fast.
He talked about the current Vikings challenges, and said that quarterback Kirk Cousins "is playing his a-- off." Cousins has that mental toughness, physical durability and intelligence needed to play QB in the NFL," Studwell said.
Tune in next week for a discussion with former Awesome Blossom great, Gabe Hagen.

Sign up for News Alerts

Subscribe to news updates