Senior Signing Spotlight: Dylan Kauer
Academics more important than football in recruitment of Campo Verde O-Lineman
This is No. 12 in a month-long series of profiles of Arizona high school seniors that signed with four-year colleges. Here's the full list (currently totaling 288) of players from within the state moving on to the next level.
Dylan Kauer had offers closer to Gilbert than Valley City State (1,600 miles away). But, it was the relationships made with VCSU coaches that won the 6-1, 225-pound offensive lineman over.
The coaches kept in touch with Kauer and not only checked on how he was doing as a football player, but also as a student at Campo Verde, and with his family.
"I chose to sign with Valley City State over other schools because of the amazing program they have and what it's all about," Kauer said in an e-mail interview. "I could see how much success they had and I knew I wanted to be a part of it."
Valley City State, an NAIA program, hasn't had a losing season since 2010. Last year, the Vikings finished 6-4 overall and 5-2 in North Star Athletic Association, which was good for second place in the conference.
Kauer played right guard for the Coyotes and also center. The offensive line provided the support for an offense that featured 1,100-yard rusher Matt Leazier.
"The bond that our offensive line had was one you won't find very often," Kauer said. "I learned so much through them and I know those guys will do great things in the future. So many memories were made and I now have lifelong friends."
Dylan wasn't the only member of the family on the CVHS team. His twin brother, Trevor, played defensive end. That means that while the two were teammates, they went head-to-head each day at practice. Dylan, who earned 5A San Tan Region Honorable Mention honors, has enjoyed battling things out with Trevor throughout his life.
"Not everyone gets to have the opportunity to learn from, and go against, a special player like him during practice," Kauer said. "He was such a big part of Campo's success and a true leader on the team. He really pushed me to be the best I could and I owe my success to him for that. I know for sure he will do great things at the Air Force Academy."
Aside from football, both Kauer brothers have been a part of the wrestling team. While Dylan didn't wrestle this winter due to an injury, he values what the sport has given to him. Last June, Kauer was undefeated at an all-star wrestling camp at Western Colorado.
"Wrestling made me such a better football player than I would've been if I hadn't joined," Kauer said. "Coach (Chris) Bishop does such an amazing job with the team every year and I learned so much from him in my high school career. He is more like a father figure to us and is doing everything right in life. He is a great example of the man I want to be when I'm older."
While he's yet to visit his future college, Kauer is confident in the resources available there and how it will set him up for the rest of his life after graduation.
"Academics played a bigger role than athletics during the recruiting process, because I know that going to VCSU, I will be taken care of by getting a good job and providing well for myself," Kauer said. "They have a great football team, but I feel very good about attending the school itself, because I know they will help me in the future after my time as a Viking.
Kauer also credits his football coach, Max Ragsdale, for his high school success and said he's happy he attended Campo Verde.
"Coach Ragsdale has been one of my biggest supporters and has believed in me through thick and thin," Kauer said. "He is such a hard worker and wants the best for his team and wants them to grow up to be great men. I would like to thank everyone who has helped me get to this point in my life, especially my family. Go Vikings! #WeAllRow"