SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Saturday is Senior Day for the Augustana Vikings and one of their graduating seniors will be linebacker T.J. Liggett, who has established himself as one of the top defensive players in the Northern Sun Conference.
T.J. Liggett was recruited to play for Augustana following a strong showing at Rosemount High School in Minnesota.
“I actually got started talking to Augie late in my senior year football season. I guess, as soon as I came here, I knew this was the place I’m supposed to be,” Augustana linebacker T.J. Liggett said. “Just the combination of the school side of things and the caliber of football that we were playing, I just knew this is where I was supposed to be.”
“He can really move and when we were recruiting him, that really showed in high school. When we got him here in his first spring ball, you really realized that he had some fast twitch with him too,” Augustana head coach Jerry Olszewski said.
After sitting out his redshirt season, Liggett played in ten games as a freshman. In his sophomore and junior season, T.J. led the team in tackles with 174.
Liggett also earned a spot on the NSIC All-Academic Team of Excellence in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
“I spent a ton of time in high school and especially my early career here, just grinding in the classroom,” Liggett said.
“He’s your prototypical student-athlete. He takes school seriously and he realizes that someday, football is going to be done and he’s going to have a career in what he really loves to do,” Olszewski said. “He’s really gifted in computers and computer science and numbers, but he’s also personable.”
T.J.’s senior season has seen the continued success in the classroom and on the field.
“He just kept getting better and better. He’s a smart young man and he loves football. He’s one of those kids that he’ll be in the classroom watching film, before the coaches get there and after they leave,” Olszewski said.
Liggett is one of sixteen seniors that is being honored on Senior Day by the university.
“It’s a difficult transition. They become your family and some of these guys for six years. Walking out of here with their Masters Degree and everything else, it’s what this program is all about. It’s always going to be about family. These guys will be friends 50 years from now,” Olszewski said.
Liggett currently lead the Vikings in tackle again. He has 62 total tackles, which is ninth best in the NSIC.