Former Orab Ryan Van Marel Part Of Jacks Success

Frisco, Texas — For the first time in program history, South Dakota State will play for a football national championship.

The top-seeded Jackrabbits, 8-1 overall, will square off against No. 2 Sam Houston Sunday afternoon in the Football Championship Subdivision national title game in Frisco, Texas. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Toyota Stadium, with the game played before a national television audience on ABC.

South Dakota State advanced to the title tilt by winning three consecutive playoff home games and enter Sunday’s matchup with a seven-game winning streak.

Former Sheldon Orab Ryan Van Marel is part of that success. We had a chance to talk to the red shirt sophomore and even though it’s been a spring season it’s the conclusion of a process that began last fall.

The focus has been on staying in the moment and not looking too far ahead.

Van Marel talked about the playoff run.

Along with being part of the defensive line rotation Ryan  has blocked 2 field goals and had one partial block. one and a half blocks have come in the playoffs with a solo in the quarterfinals and the partial block in the semi final game.

We asked how that skill was developed.

He also told us what’s made this years Jack Rabbits a team that has realized their goal of playing for a national championship.

Leading up to what the team calls “The Big Natty” Ryan is doing what he can to enjoy the moment.

The Jackrabbits opened the playoff run by defeating Holy Cross (31-3 on April 24) and Missouri Valley Football Conference rival Southern Illinois (31-26 on May 2). In a May 8 semifinal, the Jackrabbits pounded Delaware, 33-3.