Montana State University-Northern senior linebacker Landry See has literally seen it all when it comes to college football.
After all, See, a 6-0, 200-pound Hillsboro, Ore., product has started every game since he came to Northern four years ago. It’s a rare feat to start and contribute in as many games as See has for the Lights, and as he enters his final homecoming game Saturday against Eastern Oregon, the numbers, and See’s contributions to the MSU-N program speak for themselves.
See entered this season with staggering career numbers and he’s not done yet. At the start of the 2011 season, See had 323 total tackles, which is second on the all-time career list, as well as 20 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, four interceptions, 10 pass breakups, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one punt block. Last season, See led the Frontier Conference and was second in the NAIA in total tackles with 128, which was a single-season record at Northern. And, to go along with being a three-time all-conference performer, See is just 93 tackles shy of Marc Samson’s all-time record at MSU-N.
But with numbers like that also comes success, and See has had plenty of it at Northern. However, as the Lights are off to a 2-0 start this season, See is looking for more than just stats to end his brilliant career.
“I want to put my name in stone here,” See said. “Those individual records and things, those are something every football player is proud of. But as much as those are great accomplishments, I also want this ride to end with this team winning and having a successful season. Winning as a group is the most important thing to me. We’ve struggled the last two years so it would be really nice to keep this ride we’re on right now going.”
And after three remarkable seasons, it’s quite clear that See is and will be a huge factor in Northern’s success this season. He’s seen the ups and downs of college football as
his freshman season, the Lights went a solid 7-3, but over the next two years, they won just five games. Now, Northern is off to a great start and the Lights are nationally ranked, and that has See looking forward, not back.
“I think the team we have right now has the right attitude to have a successful season,” See said. “We just have to keep working hard, keep improving every week. But this team is ready to keep this ride going.”
And See will keep the ride going from the linebacker position where he’s been as steady as any Northern player in recent history. There is the stats that speak for themselves, but See is much more than just a stat machine.
“The thing that makes Landry so great is his competitiveness. He is one of those people that hates to lose more than he likes to win, in whatever it is he does,” Northern defensive coordinator Jake Eldridge said. “In the weight room, on the gym floor during winter conditioning, on the practice field during a special team’s period and definitely on game days, he doesn't want to lose one rep, ever. That passion to be successful has allowed him to be the type of player he is. You don't look at Landry and say, wow, that kid must be a linebacker, you think he's a running back or defensive back because of his size. But Landry is probably one of the best all-around athletes we have on this team. He is very athletic, he is very quick and fast, but also strong enough to mess around with big linemen in the box.
“You never have to worry about whether Landry is going to be ready to go on game days, it's a given,” he continued. “Even if he doesn't stand out during the course of a game all the time, he always ends up being our leading tackler and will at some point have made a big play in that game that makes a huge difference.
“I think that Landry hasn’t gotten the recognition nationally that he deserves,” MSU-N head coach Mark Samson added. “It probably has to do with his size. But the fact is, Landry is a tremendous football player and a great athlete. He’s also a very smart player who works very hard. He is just very, very consistent, makes very few mistakes and you know he’s going to go out every Saturday and get the job done. That really sums up his career here, he just gets the job done every time out, and it’s always a pleasure to coach a player like Landry.”
Getting the job done and being a leader has been what See has been about since he first stepped on the Blue Pony Stadium turf nearly four years ago. Now, he’s playing the last football games of his college career, and like See says, it’s been quite the ride. And it’s a ride that will take the Northern great right into the record books.
“When I first came to Northern it was a culture shock,” See said. “I came from a town just outside of Portland (Oregon) and coming to little Havre it was a big change. But right away we were pretty successful. We went 7-3 my freshman year. The last two years though, have been less than desirable and I want to help change that. I want this team to have that success like we had my freshman year and like the Northern teams had before I got here. That’s important to me.
“It’s been a great experience playing at Northern though,” he added. “It’s been a ride for sure.”