Norse of the Week: Tyler Sefried (’20)


Danica Nolton ('22) Photo Bureau

Sefried recorded 31 tackles and two sacks last year.

Tell me about your football career.

I started playing when I was eight years old. I’ll have been playing for 15 years by the end of the season. Collegiately, I played JUCO, or Junior College, before I came here, which was really successful. We were a super good team, nationally ranked at American River College. I redshirted my freshman year there, and my second year I got injured. My third year wasn’t a bad year, but a guy who’s now at USC played ahead of me, so I didn’t have the greatest success. After my third season, I was considering giving up because I had barely played the last season. Luckily, Luther had a recruiter that would not give up. He was super persistent. So I said, “screw it” and came out here for a visit. I came legitimately wanting to hate this place, and it slowly just won me over. That was over a J-term, and I committed the next day. I went from living in Sacramento with a job to moving out here within two weeks.

Describe your role on the team.

As a captain, my impact is just like being a big brother to a lot of the guys, especially because we have a really young team. The majority of our roster is freshmen and sophomores, with few juniors and even fewer seniors. I always preach that players play, coaches coach. It’s not our job to chew guys out, as I see it. Trying to lead by example, doing all the right things, so guys can have a reference for how they should carry themselves.

How do you prepare for games?

Obviously, we practice every day as a team. But for me personally, Friday nights I try to settle in. Look over our notes from meetings. We always have a quiz to complete. I like to imagine myself in the game and create a mental image of myself in there, going through good and bad scenarios. On the actual game day, I just have laser focus. I don’t look at social media. I send out a thank- you to people saying good luck, but other than that I don’t do anything but focus. About an hour before the game, I get super intense and create a small goal for myself. Five tackles or a sack, something like that.

Do you usually accomplish your goals?

Depends on the game. Usually my bare minimum goal is five tackles and a sack, and if I get one or the other then I’m happy. Then I’ve had bad games as well. When those happen, the most important thing is that I gave it my all. That’s the one thing I care about more than anything. My position isn’t super glorious, and when I do make a tackle it’s cool because I had to fight off a big, fat offensive linemen. If I do my best, I can live with it.

What are your thoughts on this season so far?

For our team, it’s been disappointing. Nobody likes losing. But we have a lot of room to grow. As I said, we have a lot of young players that are developing mentally and physically. Moving forward for the next few seasons, it’s gonna get better and better. If they do the right things, they will do big things in the future. For myself moving forward, we only have about three games left and this is my last season. My ultimate goal is to finish strong. I don’t want to look back and say, man, I should have worked harder. When I don’t work my hardest, it eats at me. When I was at JUCO, I almost gave up. Luckily, I was given this opportunity to finish strong here, and that’s what I want to do. Win or lose, I just want to finish strong.

How has the team grown since you arrived at Luther?

We have a very young team, and I’ve seen a few players step up and go in the right direction. I’ve also seen young players with a lot of room to grow, which is okay since they have time. I thought our camp was much better this year in terms of keeping the game as the focus. There’s improvements and growth, but it will take time for it to show.

What are you looking forward to during the rest of your time at Luther?

I’m looking forward to enjoying myself as a student for once. I’ve played since I was eight, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment where I’ve never played a sport before. With our next semester, I won’t have that football commitment. It won’t be easier, but it will be an interesting feeling. It’ll be sad because I won’t be doing what I love, but I’ll get to experience something new and I’m excited for that. Because I was a transfer, I have a bunch of freedom for what I can take, so I’m very excited for that. I’m excited to get involved in new things, as I’m now freed up to do a little more.

Who is an athlete you look up to?

There’s a guy I played in JUCO with, and he recently got signed by the Carolina Panthers. He’s a linebacker, and his name’s Jordan Kunaszyk. We weren’t super close, but I knew him pretty well. He was a captain at my JUCO, and I admired the way he carried himself and his work ethic. A lot of the times when people talk about college athletics, they talk about genetics. He had a solid frame, but his work ethic alone is why he’s at where he’s at. And he made the actual team. He didn’t get cut and he plays. His accomplishments and his work ethic are what I admire.

What’s a fun fact about yourself that isn’t related to football?

I have club thumbs and people say they look like toes.

Photo courtesy of Luther Football
Sefried hails from Lodi, CA.
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