BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – Welcome to the 4th journal of 5th Down. Originally each week five members of the Jackrabbit program were asked to answer five questions, but we’re making a little change.

In an attempt to take a deeper dive into who these young men are as people, we will now feature just three members of the Jackrabbit football program each week.

(From Left to right: Landon Wolf, Dyshawn Gales, Bryce Johnson)

Dyshawn Gales | Senior cornerback | Chicago, IL (North Chicago Community HS)

Major: Physical Education/Teacher Education

Background bio:

Growing up on the north end of Chicago, early on, football wasn’t something that seemed to be a part of Gales future.

“I was actually scared to play football at first,” Gales said with a laugh. “But my uncle put some shoulder pads on me and my cousin in the yard and he had us tackle each other and he said see, it doesn’t hurt that bad!”

The following year Gales would begin playing organized football as a quarterback, the position he would play all throughout high school as well. He would play just four games on defense as a safety, where he would amass a team high in total interceptions during his senior season.

A few Division III schools had shown interest, but Gales felt he was being overlooked. That’s when SDSU came into the picture… in quite a unique way.

Dyshawn’s high school basketball coach was friends with a middle school coach in the area. That middle school coach just happened to be Jason Eck’s (former SDSU offensive coordinator) brother. After a few phone calls, Dyshawn found himself on a visit to Brookings.

“They asked me if I would be willing to play corner. I said yea, even though I’d never played corner in my life before I came here,” Gales expressed.

Years later, Gales is now an integral part of the Jackrabbit defense.

  1. Toughest moment of your career and how did you get through it?

“I’d probably say freshman year, my spring season, I wasn’t on scholarship because of course I walked on. I was hurt a lot that spring and I knew I had to show a lot. I had hamstring and quad injuries and didn’t think I’d get put on scholarship,” Gales remembered.

“But that summer I was healthy, I had learned the playbook and I was put on scholarship that fall. It was pretty cool.”

2. Growing up, who was your role model?

“I used to always go to high school games and stuff like that and whoever were the stars, I always looked up to them. There was two guys named Arnold ‘Poota’ Shead and Aaron Simpson. Just the way they carried themselves in sports and everything, I always wanted to be a good athlete and be like them.”

3. What one word best describes you as a person?

“Enjoyable – I love to play around and have fun, spend time with people and build connections and relationships.”

Bryce Johnson | Freshman Linebacker | Parker, Colorado (Lutheran HS)

Major: Human Biology/Pre-Medicine

Background bio:

The one-time Colorado State commit comes from Parker, Colorado, about 45 minutes southeast of Denver. Beginning flag football as a 5-year-old, Johnson played a multitude of different sports growing up.

“I played football, wrestling, lacrosse, I did a bunch,” Johnson said.

As a youngster on the gridiron, Johnson lined up at running back, wide receiver and safety, but it wasn’t until his senior year of high school that he would first play linebacker, the position he currently plays for the Jackrabbits.

  1. Toughest moment of your career and how did you get through it?

“Before my 8th grade football season, I tore the hamstring of my pelvis. That in itself was a big recovery, I had to have surgery, was on crutches for two months,” Johnson stated.

“I started getting back into sports that winter and spring, and then I did it again playing lacrosse during the spring. It turned into an 18 month process between the two. It was really tough mentally,” Johnson said.

“As an athlete, you kind of build your identity around your sport and that’s something I learned through that process to get away from. You need to have your identity in something unchanging so that it cannot be taken away in an instant.”

2. Growing up, who was your role model?

“My dad. He’s a high character, does everything with integrity, super hard worker, great leader, defiantly someone I want to follow.”

3. What one word best describes who you are as a person?

“Integrity – It’s the characteristic I’ve been raised upon. It’s doing the right thing no matter who’s watching.”

Landon Wolf | Senior wide receiver | Tulsa, OK (East Central HS)

Major: Sociology

Background bio:

Growing up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Wolf was introduced to football at the age of 4 as a quarterback and safety, before switching to wide receiver in middle school.

“I went to a new school and we had a really good quarterback; he actually ended up going to Missouri (Micah Wilson). He was really good, so I played running back and receiver,” Wolf remembered.

He would graduate high school in 2016 with a few Division II and NAIA scholarship offers.

“I felt like I could play somewhere above the level I was being recruited at. So, I ended up walking on at Oklahoma State and got put on scholarship after two years,” Wolf said.

He would spend five years as a Cowboy, gathering 82 total receptions before deciding to grad transfer for his final year of eligibility. He was in the transfer portal for only a few weeks before deciding on South Dakota State.

  1. What was the toughest moment of your career and how did you get through it?

“Getting hurt last year. (On his first live snap as a Jackrabbit.) I transferred and wanted to have a big last season and I never expected to have a 7th year of college football; but, here we are,” Wolf said with a smile.

“I had never been through a situation where I couldn’t play football. A lot of times football is an escape. So, not having that and not being able to walk was tough. Being able to lean on people like Charlie and Kelsey and other trainers that we have and just my teammates, they supported me and really encouraged me,” Wolf continued.

“There’s a lot of love around here.”

2. Growing up, who was your role model?

“I grew up with a single mom and didn’t have a father in the house,” said Wolf.

“We had coaches that were like father figures that played ball, grew up the same way we grew up. Those are the people we kind of looked up to, took us under their wing. Coach Marquese Williams. He taught me when I was four and he ended up coaching me in high school. He taught me everything I know about football.”

3. What one word best describes who you are as a person?

“Persistent – If I have a goal or an ideal image of the way I want things to work out, then I’m going to do my best to put everything into it so I don’t leave no regrets and can walk away feeling that I did my due diligence. So, if it works out I’m good and if it doesn’t then I know I didn’t leave anything to chance.”