by Duane Cochran for FightingFalcons.com
Reliable is defined as being dependable in achievement, accuracy and honesty.
On Fairmont State University's football team reliable is defined as Daniel Strosnider.
In the last three-and-a-half years no Falcon has played in more games than Strosnider, a 5-11, 200-pound senior spur or outside linebacker/defensive back from Morgantown.
Since stepping foot on FSU's campus in the fall of 2009 Strosnider has been a positive force for the Falcons both on and off of the field. He never redshirted as a freshman and has played in all 37 games since he first donned the maroon and white compiling 124 total tackles, including 83 solo stops and 20 tackles for losses. He also has four career sacks and a pair of interceptions.
“He preaches and preaches to us that he's going to sell out every day for us on the field and he does it,” said Falcon senior cornerback Ryland Newman, who has played 36 games with Strosnider. “I love playing with Daniel Strosnider. I've been playing with him now for four years and about the best complement I could pay him is you can always count on him. Always.
“He's smart. He's got some speed. He's physical and he knows the game extremely well. He's the complete package both on and off the field. I can't say enough good things about the guy.”
Sixth-year Fairmont State head coach Mike Lopez feels the same way.
“The young man is phenomenal,” said Lopez, who recruited Strosnider out of Morgantown High School. “He's really an outstanding person. From the moment I first recruited him until now he's been nothing but a joy to be around.
“He's a rarity. He's got very strong Christian beliefs and a strong Christian background which allows him to be a good leader for us. He's truly a guy who leads by example. He walks the walk. Our guys will tell you without question he's a great teammate.”
Despite the lofty praise he receives from his teammates and coaching staff Strosnider is a player and person who remains very humble and grounded. He has a clear focus of what he wants to accomplish both on the field for the Falcons and off of it in his everyday life.
“I've always wanted to be someone my team can rely on,” he said. “That's so important to me. That's been a goal for me since I first got here. Now, it's hard to believe I'm in my senior season, but I've really tried to take that philosophy to a whole new level this fall. I not only want to be a leader for this football team, but a good leader. I try to make the most of every opportunity I'm afforded in my life. You only get so many in your life time and I truly believe you need to try to make the most of them.”
Strosnider is majoring in education at Fairmont State and in the future would love to both teach and coach football.
For the past two summers Strosnider has worked as a head counselor for FSU's Falcon Center Summer Day Camp, which is open to children between the ages of 6-12 and is a camp designed to keep the children active while providing education on the importance of physical activity, nutrition and social skills.
He says the experience for him has been very rewarding.
“Quite often people will ask me why do I want to do that and I just feel like at those ages kids are like sponges,” said Strosnider. “They'll soak up about everything you try to teach and tell them. They're willing to learn. They want to learn and I've always felt if I can be a positive role model in a little boy or little girl's life and have an influence on a decision that they might make down the road in their lives then I've done something good.
“If I can affect just one child in my classroom in a positive way every year for 20 years then I've affected a lot of kids. I've made them better people and that's something that's very important to me and very close to my heart. Nowadays especially little boys need a positive male role model in their lives. I'm just trying to fill that role for those who need it and help some of these kids out.”
Strosnider's work and interaction with the children at the day camp is extraordinary. He is, without question, a favorite of the campers.
“Daniel's really good with the kids,” said junior counselor Haley Cochran, who worked with Strosnider this past summer at the camp. “They love being around him. He has a real understanding of the kids and is very good at working with them on their level. He has fun with them, comforts them if they need it and makes every day an enjoyable, positive and rewarding experience for them.”
Strosnider, along with football teammates Bryan Wilson and Matt Wilmer are the leaders of the Bible study group on campus which is another important aspect of his multifaceted life.
“Jamal Womble started it and kind of turned it over to myself, Bryan and Matt and it's really grown,” said Strosnider. “We meet on Wednesdays and we're seeing new people join us on a consistent basis.
“That's something that's always been important to me and, to be honest, I think it's helping our team out. Some kids on our team who may not have a strong spiritual belief have come and joined our Bible study group and you can see the growth in their relationship with God.
“I feel fortunate to have the ability to play football, but it is just a game and regardless of what the score or outcome is every week I'm still going to give praise to God for allowing me to do what I do every day. I've been blessed. I've had a good career here, a good life and I'm certainly looking forward to the future and the new challenges that are awaiting me.”