UND linebacker tackles more than football on his mission toward success in the classroom


Kate Menzies

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UND linebacker tackles more than football on his mission toward success in the classroom

When he's not on the field making plays, University of North Dakota football player Adedayo "Dayo" Idowu is mastering the chemistry of success.

This Woodbury, Minn., native has left his mark on UND in more ways than just Xs and Os in the football playbook. He is a positive presence both on and off the field.

During his time at UND, Idowu (pronounced: "E-doh") has also excelled academically in the UND Chemical Engineering program and as a leader of the UND Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He balances is academics and more while fulfilling his duties at starting outside linebacker on a defensive squad that is quickly becoming a signature component of UND's revamped football program.

In fact, Idowu had a monster game last Saturday (Sept. 20) in a UND victory over Stony Brook University of New York. The 6'2", 210 pound linebacker was involved in nine tackles, including two quarterback sacks for 18 yards in total losses. Idowu hopes to continue that momentum on Saturday against the Montana State Bobcats in Bozeman, Mont.

Idowu was first drawn to UND's football program because of its great tradition and alumni/community support. But there was more to his decision.

"UND presented opportunities beyond football," he said. "The future outlook of the program looked bright and I was excited to be a part of something so optimistic and exciting."

It is with this same excitement that he chose to major in chemical engineering. With a high aptitude for arithmetic and an interest in chemistry, Idowu looked for a program that could meld the two subjects.

Tackling practice and an intensive course load can be a lot to handle but Idowu explained that support and understanding from his professors have taken a bit of the pressure off. Idowu is currently a senior by academic standards, though he is considered a junior on the football field.

"My professors have always shown a willingness to assist me and have spent extra time with me to make sure I get the help I need," said Idowu.

In addition to this, Idowu has taken away a few things from football that have helped him in the classroom.

"Just like in football, you have to be disciplined and stay focused," said Idowu. "In football, the coaches always tell us not to feel sorry for ourselves and I think that can carry over to the classroom. No matter how much pain you're in or how tired you are, you have to keep on working because the reward is worth it."

It is this attitude that makes Idowu such a fitting representative of student athletes. As president of SAAC, Idowu and the rest of the committee serve as the link between UND athletes and the community. Idowu voices student athlete concerns and promotes support for all UND athletic programs.

"Our goal is to enhance the student athlete experience," he said.

Outside of school, Idowu dabbles in music. He is a self-professed singer and plays piano and saxophone. Aside from this, Idowu enjoys spending time with his friends and teammates.

For Idowu, coming to UND has always felt like the right choice.

"I've gotten the chance to be a part of a flagship university and program, met many people and have been presented with opportunities that I wouldn't have gotten elsewhere," said Idowu.

Whether on the field or in the classroom, Idowu has made lasting relationships and connections that will carry him far beyond his time at UND.

Kate Menzies University & Public Affairs student writer

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