Minnesota transfer quickly making his mark at USD
8 mins read

Minnesota transfer quickly making his mark at USD

“Streveler for president,” yelled junior quarterback Chris Streveler’s teammates as he stood on the sideline for a recent interview following practice. The University of Minnesota transfer is quickly making friends and an impact at USD.

Three games into the season Streveler has been a big factor for the USD offense. He currently leads the team in both passing and rushing yards. Of the 15 touchdowns the Coyote offense has scored, Streveler has 13, nine passing and four rushing.

This performance has earned him the praise of head coach Bob Nielson.

“Obviously you can see he’s a playmaker, still developing a little bit as a quarterback,” Nielson said. “At the same time he’s a guy that has demonstrated his ability to make plays for us and to make plays at a high level.”

Coming out of Crystal Lake, Illinois, the two-time conference and area player of the year decided to take his talents to the University of Minnesota. For Streveler it was a question of fit when deciding where to go.

“I loved it there,” Streveler said. “I had heard a lot of really good things about coach Kill, he was the coach there when I was getting recruited. He’s a great guy and we built a good relationship. I just felt like their offense suited me well.”

Despite his decision to transfer, Streveler left the U of M on good terms.

“It was my first big offer and I committed right away,” Streveler said. “No regrets about that at all and I loved my time there.”

When deciding on where he should transfer, it was once again a question of fit for Streveler. This time on exactly what position he would play.

“When I decided to make a change I was actually playing receiver at the time,” Streveler said. “That camp I had kind of played around with tight end and running back and quarterback and receiver, I was playing a little bit of everything.”

Once again it was the coaches that helped to seal it for Streveler.

“When I came on my visit here it was the first visit I took. I absolutely loved it. I felt like I could build a good relationship with coach (Ted) Schlafke,” Streveler said. “Young guy, I really liked their offense and he played the position too, at a high level.”

Head coach Bob Nielson spending time with Streveler during his visit was another big part of his decision.

“Coach Nielson took a lot of time out of his day during the visit to sit down with me and talk,” Streveler said. “It sometimes can be hard to get a lot of time with a head coach on a visit, so the fact that he took a couple hours to sit down with me was huge.”

After deciding he wanted to play quarterback, the decision was made for Streveler.

“After the visit I just thought about playing quarterback and I decided I wanted that opportunity again,” Streveler said. “It’s my first love, I love playing it and I felt like this was going to be a good opportunity to get a chance to play.”

The spot at quarterback was not guaranteed for Streveler coming into USD. Senior Ryan Saeger was coming off of a season that saw him start every game and redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Simmons was now eligible to play.

Streveler has started each game so far this season, but all three have seen snaps. For some teams a position battle can be detrimental, but not for USD.

“I definitely think that it helps elevate each other. They see another guy going and they’re competitive so I think it elevates one another,” Schlafke said. “They’ve all handled it unbelievably so that’s a positive. It can be a divisive thing in certain situations, but it’s not that way here.”

According to Streveler there is no bad blood between the trio.

“It helped that the other quarterbacks were so helpful to me and so open to me,” Streveler said. “It can be hard sometimes being a new quarterback coming into something, so I’m very appreciative of the way those guys treated me and helped me out.”

The move back to quarterback has paid dividends for Streveler and the Coyotes. He is currently fourth in points responsible for in the FCS and 15th in total offense.

Despite just arriving in the summer and dealing with a new offense, Streveler has been able to really gel with his teammates and coaches.

One of Streveler’s favorite targets this year has been sophomore receiver Shamar Jackson, who leads the team in receiving yards. Despite not having too much time before the season to get acquainted, the two have been able to make a connection on the field.

“It’s been going good, it started off in the summer when we first got here,” Jackson said. “We would go outside and run routes and stuff and the offensive line has been giving him time to deliver me the ball.”

It wasn’t just an adjustment to a new team for Streveler, also a different city. As a kid from near Chicago who spent the past three years in Minneapolis, Vermillion is a bit of a different experience.

“It’s been very different, something I’m not used to, but it’s been a good experience. Coming to Vermillion I knew it was going to be a different experience,” Streveler said. “I’m happy I’m getting to experience it. I’m from Chicagoland suburbs, so a little bigger there, then going to Minneapolis obviously a bigger city, then coming here something totally different.”

However different, doesn’t mean bad and Streveler is glad he is getting a chance to experience a different type of town.

“I’m the type of person that’s kind of just open to anything like that. You don’t know if you like something or don’t like something before you try it,” Streveler said. “It’s been a good experience and I like it out here.”

A big part of the reason Streveler has been able to acclimate so quickly is his character, which his coaches speak to at length.

“He’s a competitor and we knew that as we talked to the people from Minnesota about him,” said Nielson. “He’s a tremendously hard worker and has gained the respect of our team in a very short period of time.”

Coach Schlafke is not only impressed with Streveler on the field, but also in the classroom. This is because while many players are still focusing on their degrees, Streveler is a full-time graduate student.

“He graduated from Minnesota in three and a half years so he’s a mature guy,” Schlafke said. “He came here for one thing, in terms of for football and has really devoted everything that he does to that, while being a full time grad student.”

Now that Streveler is in Vermillion and settled, he’s ready to get after the goal he came here for.

“I just really wanted the opportunity to help a team and win some games,” Streveler said. “That’s why I committed here.”