Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- This is it for Ben Helmer, his last collegiate football season. Not only, says Unviersity of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) head coach Bob Nielson, has he now developed into a terrific football player, but he's also filling well this season the role of senior captain.
"Physically, he's worked very hard and become bigger and stronger, but he's also matured as an individual and a leader within our program," Nielson said. "He's well-respected by all the guys for the type of person he is as well as the kind of player he's become."
That player has become a true leader for the Bulldogs, even as he plays the somewhat unglamorous role of tight end for UMD.
But, that's exactly how he wants it.
"I wouldn't want to play any other position," Helmer said. "It's rare because you're asked to catch passes and block people. You kind of do it all, so it's fun."
It's fun for his teammates, too, knowing they've got a guy who won't disappear on some of college football's biggest stages.
"Ben's done a great job since he stepped into that role as a freshman," UMD senior quarterback Chase Vogler said. "He's made a lot of big plays for this team. He had a catch in the  national championship game and a lot of plays leading up to that. He's been a great target for me."
And Helmer says that will continue to the end.
"It's flown by. There's now doubt that fall camp seemed like it was two weeks ago," Helmer said. "It's gone fast. I've enjoyed every single second of it. I've had a lot of fun coming out here every single day with these guys. It's been a lot of fun.
I'll do whatever it takes. As long as we're winning the games, that's all that matters to me."