MOORHEAD -- In today's knockdown world of college football, it's important to have a few standup guys.
Few stood taller for the Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Dragons than Brainerd High School graduates Larry McCulley, Dave Sustercich and Chad Yde.
A senior, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound McCulley was a two-year fixture on the Dragons' offensive line at tackle. He didn't miss a start in two seasons.
Sustercich, a 5-11, 243-pound senior, was the Dragons' starting noseguard this fall after spending time as an inside linebacker. He collected 34 tackles, including 14 unassisted stops, five tackles for loss, one quarterback sack and a fumble recovery.
Yde, a 6-1, 163-pound junior, was a starting wide receiver and kick returner until a midseason knee injury. He had seven catches for 82 yards and returned two kickoffs for a 16.0 average.
All three made a favorable impression on Dragons head coach Ralph Micheli.
"McCulley was an excellent offensive tackle while Sustercich played very well at either noseguard or linebacker," Micheli said. "Yde was a good receiver, and that hurt us when he was injured.
"They were certainly a big part of our program this fall, and you can tell they came from a great high school program. We can't get enough players from Brainerd."
McCulley secured a starting job during spring practice in 2001. He transferred to MSU from South Dakota State where he lettered in 2000. A football and track letterwinner at BHS, McCulley was named to the All-Central Lakes Conference and all-area football teams. He is a construction management major at MSU.
Sustercich placed third on the MSU defensive chart as a junior with 54 tackles, including 22 solo stops and five for loss. He finished fourth on the squad as a sophomore with 60 tackles, including 21 unassisted, two for loss, one quarterback sack, one forced fumble, one pass deflection and one pass breakup.
A three-year letterman at MSU, Sustercich was credited with eight tackles, including one for loss, in a relief role as a freshman. A hockey and football player and track athlete at BHS, Sustercich received several prep football honors as a senior, including most valuable player, defensive MVP, all-conference and all-area. He was also active in choir, Key club and class cabinet.
Sustercich is also a construction management major at MSU.
Yde blossomed into a quality receiver as a sophomore, caught five passes for 64 yards and one touchdown in seven games. He missed the final three games following a knee injury. Yde averaged 17.5 yards on 11 kickoff returns as a sophomore.
A football and track letterman at BHS, Yde was elected track captain. He was named to the all-conference football team at quarterback in 1997, and was named most valuable offensive player. He also qualified for the state track meet and helped the Warriors set a school record in the 4x100 relay. He also earned All-CLC track honors.
Yde is majoring in international business/Eastern Asian studies.
MSU ended this season with a 49-35 victory at Northern State University last Saturday. MSU finished 5-5 overall, 4-5 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
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