St. Charles North senior running back George Edlund enjoyed a recent get-together with some of his father’s Augustana College football buddies.
Whether the gathering gave Edlund a subliminal push to choose Augustana as his college football destination is uncertain.
Either way, Edlund will be the newest family member to deepen the clan’s rich heritage in Rock Island.
Edlund’s parents, Dave and Kassiani, met as seniors at Augustana, where Dave was a three-year starter at safety for the Vikings’ football team. Edlund’s uncle, Mitch, was a basketball standout at Augustana.
“It will be something to talk about at the dinner table come Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Edlund said. “It’s just a cool experience to be a part of that. I get to play where they played at.”
Edlund had an extensive Augustana chat with two of his dad’s former teammates at a get-together before Easter.
It wasn’t long after that when Edlund picked Augustana over some of his other leading options such as Lake Forest, Knox and St. Norbert (Wis.).
“I got all the financial aid packages from my top three I was waiting for, and then I just sat down – I wanted to make the decision by myself,” Edlund said. “Both my parents went to Augustana but I didn’t want any influence on that, so I slept on it and woke up the next morning, and I knew Augie was the right place.”
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Edlund rushed for 745 yards and eight touchdowns on 143 carries as a senior for the North Stars.
He’ll join St. Charles North graduate Ben Hodges – with whom Edlund once shared a backfield during two-a-days at North – in the Vikings’ program.
Edlund, who is running sprints for the North Stars’ track team this spring, is planning to study secondary education and history at Augustana.
His father didn’t have academics figured out quite so tidily – at least not early in his college career. Dave Edlund said football inspired him to stick it out as a college student.
“Football kept me in college, and I’m thankful it was there for me and helped me continue on until I learned how to become a better student,” Dave Edlund said.
Dave Edlund said Kassiani “hated sports” after coming to the U.S. from Greece, so the two had different social circles throughout most of their time at Augustana.
More than two decades later, her outlook has changed, at least as George and his two brothers are concerned.
“We have three boys who all participate in sports,” Dave Edlund said. “She loves football. She worries to death about him but she loves watching the game of football, with her kids playing.”
Dave Edlund played for the Vikings between 1988 and 91. He has some memorabilia from his career but said it’s mostly “stowed away.”
“They’re not out there anywhere too much, by any means,” Dave Edlund said. “But back then they didn’t give you anything. Today, I think kids get a little more stuff than we used to get back then. Like I told the kids, I wore the same pair of two cleats I bought for four years.”
Another change between father and son’s eras of Augustana football – ground breaking for a new football stadium took place at Augustana in October.
The Vikings are coming off a 5-5 season and compete in the Division-III College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.