Football means more than playing games and earning stats to Landon Nault, senior running back. Nault has used the values of football, and applied them to his personal life as well, he said.

“It (football) teaches valuable life lessons about mental toughness and teamwork which are crucial characteristics to have to be successful in our professional careers,” said Nault in an email.

Nault was a Wendy’s High School Heisman National Finalist and received the Honorable Mention All-MIAA Honors, the MIAA Scholar Athlete Award, and was on the MIAA Honor Roll, according to ESU Athletics.

“My goal coming here was just doing the very best I could on the field to help give my team an opportunity to be successful,” Nault said.

In 2016, Nault appeared in all 13 games, starting seven at running back, according to ESU Athletics. He ended the season with 651 rushing yards on 179 carries with five touchdowns. His final season began this year. Nault averages 82.1 yards per game, averages 4.6 yards per carry and has rushed for six touchdowns, according to Hero Sports.

Braxton Marstall, senior quarterback and Garin Higgins, head football coach, both said they viewed Landon as a leader.

“He works hard,” Marstall said. “He’s a good leader (and) his work ethic is unmatched. He’s a heck of a football player.”

Higgins agreed, based on Nault’s performance and attitude. “He’s not only a great leader but everything he does, he does it by example as well for the other players to see,” Higgins said.

Nault exemplifies exactly what Higgins looks for in a player, Higgins said.

“We talk about our three core values in our football program: trust, accountability, attitude, family over everything,” Higgins said. “He demonstrates all of those at its highest degree.” Nault not only has excelled on the field, but has exceeded expectations in the classroom as well, he said.

“I am extremely happy with where my grades are and how well I’ve done in my academic career here at ESU,” Nault said.

Although Nault’s football career is coming to an end, he still hopes to work in and around sports.

“I have a very strong interest in medicine, specifically orthopedics, and I hope to one day work in sports medicine,” Nault said.

Higgins is very hopeful for Nault’s future and believes he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.

“He’s very dedicated in whatever he chooses to do, whether it be football, whether it be school,” Higgins said.

The next time Nault and the Hornets will compete is at 2 p.m. this Saturday in Welch Stadium against Missouri Southern State University.

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