Player Profile: Dominik London

Mattie Slavin and Alysa Steinkopf, sports reporters

Dominik London, a second-year running back, is ready to help lead the Winona State University’s football team to victory this year.
Winona State’s football Head Coach, Tom Sawyer, described London as quiet and controlled, but knows how to get the job done.
“[London’s] a really cool customer, but he’s very internal as far as his drive to be the best,” Coach Sawyer said. “He definitely has some unbelievable skills.”
After transferring from the University of Minnesota to the University of North Dakota, London chose Winona State to further his education and athletics. His brother Marcus London, a former student of Winona State, helped London make his decision.
“I actually got really close with Coach Sawyer,” London said. “I thought he was a pretty cool guy, very down to earth and honest, and I fell in love with the bluffs and the small town.”
Coach Sawyer discussed the frustrations that London experienced through his transferring journey.
“[London] was in the three different offensive systems,” Coach Sawyer said. “He first went to the University of Minnesota, and he was frustrated there, then he went to North Dakota, and then came here.”
In high school, Division I recruiters looked at London. Randy Spring, London’s high school coach, played for Winona State under Coach Sawyer.
“I think that [London’s] a really naturally gifted running back,” Coach Sawyer said. “[London’s] high school coach played for me as well. I knew who [London] was through Randy and that combination ended up landing him here in Winona.”
Coach Sawyer watched London adapt and grow comfortable with Winona State’s team dynamic and system.
“[London’s] playing fast again,” Coach Sawyer said. “He’s starting to understand what we do and how we get on the field.”
London has a strong bond with his family and team, which helped encourage his comeback from past injuries and the pandemic.
“You know that’s a recipe for disaster in their personal growth, and I think that [London] handled that really well,” Coach Sawyer said. “He’s got a really strong family.”
Student-athletes balance school, athletics, and personal life by having a good support system in place. London commented on how he’s been able to achieve this.
“I guess years of practice, time managing and doing something that I have to do to stay on top of my game on the field and staying healthy [is how I’ve balanced it all],” London said.
The sports season after COVID-19 left empty fields and stands as more games were cancelled or never scheduled. Now with a full roster and opponents to beat, game days bring the campus to life.
“I’m very confident that I still got the magic that I had back in the day,” London said.
Winona State’s game day experience is unique. Energies are up, tailgates are out, and stomachs are full. London said he’s most excited about the game day atmosphere, which is far from what COVID season created.
“It [was] always just the team, you know, you don’t have no audience,” London said. “It’s always a practice atmosphere. Once the game actually starts, you get all those jitters and those nerves, and everybody’s jacked up and excited.”
London and the men’s football team defeated Concordia University, St. Paul, 47-6, starting their season off 1-0.