Minnesota State Defensive End Chris Schaudt: A Name to Remember

If you don’t follow college football closely outside the division one level you may not be too familiar with Minnesota State, and for that matter; NFL Draft prospect Chris Schaudt. As the NFL Draft quickly approaches, Schaudt, a 6’4″ 272 lb. defensive end, is beginning to receive a lot of interest in draft circles. After dominating at the division two level, Chris Schaudt is a name to remember come May.


Minnesota State Defensive End Chris Schaudt shown celebrating a sack with a teammate (AP Photo/St. Joseph News-Press, Matt Reid)

Schaudt played his high school football at Ballard High School in Huxley, Iowa, where he was named to the All-State team and twice to the All-District team. Following his senior year Schaudt was recruited as a preferred walk-on to Iowa State and Iowa, but his only scholarship offer was to Minnesota State, a division two school that competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Following an impressive visit to the school, Schaudt went on to commit to the school just two days before national signing day.

Coming into the program in 2009 Schaudt took a redshirt in his freshman season, but it didn’t take long after for him to leave his mark. In 2010 Schaudt recorded 42 tackles, seven and a half tackles for a loss, and seven and a half sacks, mainly as a reserve and rotational guy. In 2011 Schaudt cracked the starting lineup for all 12 games, while recording an impressive stat line of 54 tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, and eight sacks. Following his impressive sophomore season Schaudt earned First Team All-NSIC honors. In his junior season Schaudt continued to wreak havoc in the opponents backfield; recording 50 tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles, while being named First Team All-NSIC once again and Second Team All-Super Region. In his last season as a Maverick, Schaudt continued to impress with 45 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, and six and a half sacks. For the third time in his career Schaudt earned First Team All-NSIC honors, was a Honorable Mention All-American selection, and was named the conference’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Schaudt finished an impressive career at Minnesota State as being named a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award, the top lineman in division two, and finished first on the Minnesota State career list for tackles for a loss (58.5) and sacks (33.5).

Though Schaudt has dominated offenses and offensive line all through his career he understands that football is a team game, and gives a lot of credit to the rest of his defense and defensive line. “It’s humbling earning all these honors, but I had a great defensive line and defense surrounding me. We were a top ten nationally ranked defense for a reason, it wasn’t just me,” Schaudt said in an interview with Pro Football Central. Schaudt also credits the system that defensive coordinator Joe Klanderman, now coaching at power house North Dakota State, had for his players. “Coach was a father figure to us. He built his system around the front seven and guys bought into him,” Schaudt spoke of his former defensive coordinator who has taken a job as the defensive backs coach at North Dakota State.

Clearly Schaudt has shown off his ability to make plays in the offensive backfield throughout his career, but brings more to the game than just that. Describing himself as a high motor, relentless player, Schaudt loves the competition aspect of the game and the one-on-one battles. Coming from a wrestling background in high school Schaudt described that “beating the guy across from me and wreaking havoc in the backfield” are the favorite parts of his game. With a dominating stat line and backfield presence that Schaudt always presented, those one-on-one battles began to turn into just more than one guy during his senior season. As his career went on, Schaudt drew more and more attention from the offensive line, and even from the rest of the offense. “It was frustrating at times, but it was fun having to beat the tackle, then the tight end, and even that running back at times too,” Schaudt said of the double team and triple team attention he drew from offenses.

Schaudt is definitely someone teammates and coaches would describe as a leader both on and off the field. A captain his senior season, Schaudt was seen as another coach to the younger guys on the team. “Guys were always asking questions about the defense, and it was fun to coach them up and see them succeed. Now that I’ve graduated a lot of guys have told me they want to model their game after me,” said Schaudt when asked about the leadership role he had on the team. But Schaudt has shown there is more to being a leader then what you do around the game. Schaudt was named to the Dean’s List each semester while at Minnesota State, giving his coaches trust on and off the field in him. While being a consistent name on the Dean’s List, Schaudt was a consistent name on All-Academic teams. Dominating on the field and in the classroom, Schaudt is a two time Academic All-NSIC selection and a two time Capital One Academic All-American and All-District selection.

With the NFL Draft quickly approaching for Schaudt, he is taking a similar approach to his college recruitment as he is to the NFL dream. Schaudt brings a blue collar mentality to workouts every day, explaining that “Good things happen to people who work hard.” Recently competing in the Minnesota University Pro Day on March 3rd, the reviews received on Schaudt’s end have been good. In the meantime he continues to train at ETS Sports Performance Gym with trainer Ryan Englebrecht. Schaudt is working with many other small school prospects who all share the same mentality that Schaudt brings, show up work hard and prove you can play. As Schaudt has worked hard to get to this point in his football career, he understands there is a lot of work still to be done and wants to be a name to remember.

Featured Image via MankatoFreePress.com


  1. Great article, but Ballard High is in HUXLEY – Chris’ family lives in Slater, which is close to Huxley.

  2. Philip_PFC says

    J Rig  Thank you. Sorry for the mix up