CMS NOSE TACKLE PAUL SLAATS ’17 WAS so dominant against opposing offensive lines that teams rarely tried to run the ball between the tackles, say his coaches. The dedicated team captain was awarded the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award for Division III football and was named to D3Football.com’s All West Region Team.
For the 2015 season, the Stags led the conference in points allowed per game (21.9), rushing yards allowed per game (105.8) and interceptions (17). Slaats captained the defensive line with 46 tackles on the season and led the team with 7.5 “tackles for loss,” setting opponents back 14 yards. This is Slaats’ second All-SCIAC award after a previous First Team selection in 2014, during which he started all nine games and tallied 32 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.
There wasn’t a play in any practice or game that he took off, and he was always hungry to improve. He was dedicated in his off-season training and to his role in our defense fully.
– JUSTIN LUTHEY, CMS FOOTBALL DEFENSIVE LINE COACH
Justin Luthey, CMS football defensive line coach, calls Slaats the most hardworking, dedicated and compassionate player he’s ever coached. “He has held himself to a standard of excellence and was never satisfied with his performance, “ says Luthey. “There wasn’t a play in any practice or game that he took off, and he was always hungry to improve. He was dedicated in his off-season training and to his role in our defense fully.”
On the academic side, the engineering major with a concentration in economics has undertaken several internships, most recently working with alumnus Olivier Chaine ’95 performing data analytics and software development in the field of landing page optimization. Slaats aspires to work as an entrepreneur and eventually start his own business incorporating technology and finance.
He also has been a strong advocate for studentathletes struggling for work-life balance. His involvement with the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has taken him to conferences to discuss NCAA regulations for SCIAC and their impact on students. Slaats works with other Harvey Mudd athletes/scholars—including fellow juniors Kelly McConnell (soccer) and Rachel Mow (cross country)—to foster dialogue on improving the student-athlete experience at Mudd. He has given tours and hosted prospective athletes/scholars from all sports and has served as a dorm athletic representative.