ASHLAND -- The Southern Oregon University football program has a storied history when it comes to producing star receivers. Its most recent chapter involved Matt Retzlaff, who starred for the team out of the slot. When he graduated last year, redshirt junior Bronsen Ader stepped into his place.
Not only has Ader been serviceable, he's becoming a star in his own right. He played in SOU's first two full games, then got injured against Montana Western. A sprained MCL kept him out of two contests before he returned against Eastern Oregon coming out of the team's bye week. In parts of five games, he has 29 catches for 575 yards and four touchdowns.
"I just want to build on the legacy of Matt Retzlaff and all they guys before him," Ader said, "That's the main thing I want to do. I just want to keep the legacy going of receivers."
He's certainly doing his part and he's opening up the passing game on the outside for receivers like Jordan Suell and Matt Boudreaux, who have combined for 46 catches, 900 yards and seven touchdowns.
"He's our fastest inside slot and he's our most physical inside slot. He presents a match up issue," SOU offensive coordinator Ken Fasnacht said, "You can't cover him with a linebacker, you can't cover him with a safety. You have to pay attention to him. That opens things up for other guys."
Ader is doing all this 2,500 miles from his hometown of Mililani, Hawaii. He has tremendous Polynesian pride, as does a large chunk of SOU's roster, who are of Polynesian descent.
"We just like to go all out and give our best no matter what happens," Ader said.
"I think we all would die on the field."
It's that passion that has powered him to such a great start in 2017 as the Raiders have moved to 7-0 on the season for the first time since 1947. So, less than a season after stepping into Retzlaff's shoes, Ader is well on his way to making sure someone else who comes along in the Raider program becomes "the next Bronsen Ader."