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Gopher 21

Player Profile - Mikah Elstad

09/06/2022, 12:00am CDT
By Jon Weisbrod

Week 2 Player Profile - Co-Captain Mikah Elstad

#52 I Mikah Elstad


Position: Center

Year: Senior (Class of 2023)

Height: 5-11

Weight: 215 pounds

Experience/accomplishments: Captain (2022), full-time starter and letterwinner (2021)

INTRODUCTION: 5 Quick Questions

Q: Why did you choose your number?

“I do have a story about this, actually. A few years ago, my uncle got into a car crash and died…he was number 52 in high school and I was really close with him, so to honor him I chose number 52.”

“He is on my mom’s side, Eric Mathison. He played for Bertha-Hewitt in high school. It’s a really small town, but he was a really good player and I think he played o-line as well.”

“He was the fun uncle, so I always enjoyed hanging out with him. It hit me pretty hard when it happened. It was around September, maybe October, of my eighth grade or freshman year — close to the beginning of the school year.”

“I was 55 during my ninth-grade year, I believe. But then I switched to 52.”

Q: What is your favorite uniform combination?

“Definitely the Jordans, I really like those jerseys. The white on white is pretty cool. But for a regular combo, I would say…black on white.”

Q: Do you have any family connections to the OHS football program?

“My brother, Darik, played football and he was a guard. The team went to the Dome when he was a freshman or sophomore and he was a starter as a senior.”

Q: Are you involved in any other sports or activities?

“I do basketball in the winter and I throw shot and discus in the spring.”

Q: Memorable phase frequently used by one of your football coaches:

“I think coach Wiese, he’s always telling me ‘stop talking Elstad.’ I talk a lot, and he’s always telling me that and I’ve just carried that with me.”


Q: Being that you play a tough position like at center, talk about how much you have absorbed over the last year and how different your outlook was from a mental standpoint coming into your senior season compared to last year.

“Well, when I was a sophomore, I played guard and I thought I would just play guard my whole high school career, but coach Wanous told me that we needed center, so I started playing center. It’s a really hard position because you have to know what everyone is doing and you have to make the lines calls. What you are going against 300-pound guys, you have to be strong. I mean, last year was really a big booster in terms of just learning how to play the game and what football is like on the varsity field.”

Q: You’re going to line up against some really big defensive lineman this season like (future Minnesota Gopher) Reese Tripp, for example. What is the key to blocking guys like that?

“My dad always said stay lower than the guy you are going against, especially at my size. You have to stay lower and keep your feet running. And against those big guys, some of them aren’t the most athletic, so I try to use that against them and use my athletic side along with leverage to get under them. Just be quick off the ball and use what I can.”

Q: It seems like a lot of guys dedicated themselves to the weight room this offseason, either adding bulk, or trimming weight, or just getting stronger. You were a big part of that group. How important is it to take pride in dedicating yourself to the offseason strength program?

“Being a part of the weight room is definitely a big part of football because being bigger and having that muscle helps you, no matter what. It helps a lot more than you will think, too. To have a lot of guys come to the weight room and show the support in the morning was amazing to see and I am really happy with the numbers that came out and what the weight room has done to us.”

Q: What was the strength training program look like in the offseason months?

“There is a summer and winter program. I am pretty sure summer is the busiest because it’s a lot more flexible for the guys to be there. We start out just lifting the weight to get going, and then after about two weeks, we really ramp it up and gain our strength and add muscle. (Jerry) Eggermont does a really awesome job in there helping us the whole way.”


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