football-fcs flag

Craig Thomas | NCAA.com | January 7, 2016

Stuffed kitten serves as mascot for NDSU defense

  NDSU's 'Alley Cats' pose with Feo during the FCS Championship photo shoot.

FRISCO, Texas – A great defense usually has a great nickname. Just Google ‘The No-Fly Zone,' 'The Wrecking Crew' or ‘Blackshirts.'

More often than not, the position coach will bestow a nickname on his gang – offensive linemen are ‘slobs,’ defensive backs belong to the ‘hit squad’ and defensive lineman are snuggly little kittens.

Say again?

Why was a North Dakota State defensive tackle walking around Toyota Stadium with a stuffed animal kitty cat doll?

All of North Dakota State’s defensive positions have a group moniker. The defensive backs are the wolf pack; the linebackers call themselves the headhunters. Except the defensive linemen – but that changed two years ago.

NDSU’s defensive line calls themselves ‘The Alley Cats,' – a nickname started by former Bison standout and current San Diego Charger Kyle Emanuel.

So why does a group of down-and-dirty dudes call themselves The Alley Cats?

“We are always beat up and we are always kicked in the corner of the field,” senior defensive tackle Brian Schaetz said. “Nobody really cares about us. As long as we make plays and we do what we are doing we will survive.”

The mascot of the NDSU’s Alley Cats is a stuffed kitten decorated by defensive end coach Jamar Cain’s children. Schaetz and his motley crew of linemen say the cat’s name is Feo – the Spanish word for ugly.

"Just wait until you hear us meow," he yelled as he walked over to the team photo shoot.

These are the 5 FCS players taken in the 2021 NFL draft

Former Walter Payton Award winner and North Dakota State QB Trey Lance is one of 5 FCS football players selected in the 2021 NFL draft. View the full list here.
READ MORE

North Dakota State football championships: A complete history

North Dakota State has won an FCS-record eight national championships. Here's everything to know about the Bison's dynasty, including season-by-season records, notable players and breakdowns of every one of NDSU's championships.
READ MORE

7 essential numbers to know for the quarterfinals of the 2020-21 FCS playoffs

Get ready for the quarterfinals of the 2020-21 FCS playoffs with these numbers to know ahead of Sunday's schedule of games.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners