Posted On: 04/5/20 12:49 AM
Nathan Aleligne is an underrated 2021 prospect who has the promise to be one of the best Warrior football players to come out of Henry Sibley in the last decade. Big #55 is a 6'3, 240 lb. DE is a strong and instinctual defensive lineman who has a lot of room to grow on his 240 lb. frame and has played a ton of snaps for the Warriors over his three years against some of the best competition 5A MN has to offer. Although he is being recruited by some NSIC heavy-hitters, he deserves some more exposure, and Northstar Football News was lucky enough to interview the junior to discuss his career at Henry Sibley thus far, what him and the Warriors need to do to compete with STA, Tartan, & Simley, which schools have been in contact, and more. Thank you for reading, and
Nathan Aleligne is an underrated 2021 prospect who has the promise to be one of the best Warrior football players to come out of Henry Sibley in the last decade. Big #55 is a 6'3, 240 lb. DE is a strong and instinctual defensive lineman who has a lot of room to grow on his 240 lb. frame and has played a ton of snaps for the Warriors over his three years against some of the best competition 5A MN has to offer. Although he is being recruited by some NSIC heavy-hitters, he deserves some more exposure, and Northstar Football News was lucky enough to interview the junior to discuss his career at Henry Sibley thus far, what him and the Warriors need to do to compete with STA, Tartan, & Simley, which schools have been in contact, and more. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy! Junior Highlights 2019
#55 with the big tackle
NFN: Hello and thank you for your time, Nathan! Please begin by telling us about yourself. Where are you from? When did you begin playing football?
Aleligne: "My name is Nathan Aleligne I am a 6’3 240 lb defensive end from West St.Paul, MN. I started playing football for the Palace Knights club team in the 6th grade. Some fun facts about me is that I am learning ASL and I’ve read every Harry Potter book."
NFN: Tell us a little bit about your season in 2018, as well as Henry Sibley’s. What were some highlights and lowlights? What did you learn from it? And how was your season personally?
Aleligne: "In 2018 I was a sophomore at Sibley and I was excited for a new season of football after getting jv reps as a freshman. I was hopeful that I could work my way into a starting role at defensive end. But halfway through the summer my head coach told me that we needed a right O-tackle and that I could potentially start. I was hesitant at first because I hadn’t played O-line since middle school but I agreed because our team needed it. I didn’t really know what to expect and I struggled a lot at first but lucky for me I had a lot of seniors around me that took me under their wing and taught me a lot. A low light from this season was losing a heartbreaker in overtime at South St. Paul’s homecoming, I could tell that loss wore down some of our guys mentally. But a big highlight from that season would have to be the homecoming game vs Irondale when our starting RB went down and our backup, my friend and also a sophomore Liam rushed for over 100 yards in his first varsity game, behind my great blocking of course. I learned a lot from that season including how to be a good teammate, what a good leader looks like, and lastly and most importantly my love for football and FNL. The season proved adverse, we were decent the year before so it hurt to not see the success but it only fueled me for the offseason."
NFN: What were your expectations for yourself and the team this season in 2019? How had you guys built on last year? What kind of things did you work on to better your game football wise in the offseason? And what do you like about the Warrior program?
Aleligne: "I went into summer 2019 hungrier than ever, not with any particular goal of expectation in mind but with the mindset to just to work hard everyday and things will eventually just work themselves out. We like most programs had summer lifting and conditioning daily but on top of that I took advantage of the basketball summer conditioning in the afternoon and because I wasn’t sure what position I was playing in the future it just got me prepared athletically for whatever I was going to be asked of. The thing I love most about our program is our relentlessness, we’ve dealt with a lot of adversity these past two seasons and the response of our guys and coaches is to learn what we can from the experience and just flush it out of our brains because preparing for the future is all we can do about the past."
NFN: Tell us about your first eight regular season games in 2019? Who’d you play? How’d they go? What were some big games and some of the best games for you? With a tough conference that includes Tartan, Simley, Park, and STA, what do you guys have to work on as a team in order to get those wins in 2020? Also, who are your favorite teams to play against and why? Any good competition you’ve gone up against that stands out?
Aleligne: "This past season I realized a couple of things, first of all that I was born to be a defensive end and that's more than sufficient for me, this came to me on the first snap at camp in Iowa when we scrimmaged a team and I got a pick 6. It was a great feeling and I knew I was there to stay. The first eight games were a roller coaster of emotions for me. We had a close game that we let slip away at Hastings and then a big loss to STA and that pattern of up and down kind of progressed throughout the season partially due to the many injuries we had that forced guys to be in and out of the lineup but regardless I think we have to work on consistency as a whole and as a Team Captain for this upcoming season it’s my duty to hold us to that. If I had to pick a breakout game for me I would say the Apple Valley game where I had 8 tackles...Or the game after at Bloomington Jefferson where both our defenses were playing lights out and I had 3 batted down passes and blocked a PAT to keep us in the lead before they unfortunately won off a questionable 4th and 1 touchdown with 30 seconds left. Either way it was a great game but it definitely hurt losing like that.
Like you said though our conference has some tough competition but I think we’ll be able to surprise some people in the fall. But the competition that I’m most excited for has to be STA. STA because they are really good competition for us being the state title runner-ups and they’ve always been our crosstown rival so all of Mendota Heights usually shows up to that game and both student sections really get into it, it’s always a fun atmosphere."
NFN: Well said. Now talk about sections as well. How was the Hastings game? what were some big plays you made in that game and how can you build on that experience to have a better 2020 playoff outcome?
Aleligne: "The section game was tough, we play’d a great game with them in the beginning of the season that we felt let slip out of our hands and we wanted to avenge that loss and at least get one for our seniors. However we got down early and had a couple costly flags and they took advantage. Now I believe this offseason we have to make some strides but behind our tight core of seniors who really care about our program were going to come back in the fall more than ready."
NFN: What are some college teams you’re interested in? Have you been contacted by any schools? Have you been to any camps? What else can you say about your recruiting process and what you are looking for in a college?
Aleligne: "I am interested in all the colleges that have reached out and invited me to their junior days but with the spread of the virus those visits are obviously canceled. I am being as open as possible to whoever is interested in trying to give me an opportunity to play at the next level regardless of division. I have been contacted by a few schools including Bemidji State and Sioux Falls. Again no I have not been to anything football related because of the virus. Right now for me it’s mostly about getting ready and prepared for next season and if a coach sees my tape and sees potential in me enough to evaluate me for their program then I would be more than happy to return the favor and make my decision from there."
NFN: Last but not least, what do you think you can add to a college program and what do you do well as a football player?
Aleligne: "I think I can add a person with great tenacity for the game. A person that’s never satisfied that can be a great leader and an even better listener. A guy that strongly believes that we is greater than me and is willing to play the role I am given to the best of my ability day in and day out."
Don't be surprised when you see Aleligne's name on some upcoming offer graphics, as #55 has been working hard, and hard work pays off. Thank you and good luck, Nathan!