Cordell Volson isn’t the only one who knows the value of hard work.
Vince Lombardi once said that “[t]he only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
Volson’s hard work saw him go from FCS powerhouse North Dakota State University to a fourth-round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2022 NFL Draft.
“Whatever room I’m in, I’m gonna be the hardest worker in that room,” Volson said shortly after the draft. “Just showing up and working extremely hard, and having a dream. If you have dreams and goals and you set out to achieve those things, there’s nothing gonna stop you. But you have to truly believe in yourself and you have to truly be determined to go and reach those goals.”
Volson certainly has all the intangibles to see his dream come to fruition. At 6-7 and 313 pounds, Volson appeared in 65 career games for North Dakota State and was a three-time FCS All-American. He recorded 41 consecutive starts over his final three seasons.
From his left-tackle spot, Volson helped the Bison post their top four single-season rushing totals, including a school-record 4,601 yards on the ground in 2019. He also helped NDSU compile four FCS National Championships en route to becoming the first Bison ever taken in the fourth round of the draft.
“It’s been really a dream come true,” Volson said. “You grow up as a kid wanting to play professional football, play in the NFL.”
If he is going to play in the NFL, at least initially, it is going to be at one of the guard spots, and probably at the left guard position, where he is in competition with Jackson Carman, last year’s second-round pick out of Clemson. But he is ready to fill in wherever needed.
“I’m somebody that is going to play all four positions and play them at a high level,” Volson said. “If you can be healthy, and you can play every spot, it’s going to be hard to get rid of you.
“That’s definitely something I’ve prided myself on - being an iron man, being a smart football player, a guy that wants to compete and improve every single day. My goal is to go in and earn a job. I’m gonna show up every day and continue to fight to improve that role that I have on the team and take advantage of every opportunity I get.”
Getting drafted by the Bengals was the first step. But it was far from the last.
“When that call came in,” Volson said recently, “it was like a dream come true. But at the same time, the work just started.”