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Empire’s Nick Apsey reflects as he enters 6th season with the CMU football program

MOUNT PLEASANT-- Glen Lake High School alum, Nick Apsey, is entering his 6th year with the Central Michigan University football program. In those six years, he’s seen the game and the program evolve.

“I didn’t have really any offers out of high school and Coach Bonamego offered me a walk-on spot,” Apsey said.

He was already familiar with the program through his older brother, Trevor, who he got to play alongside in 2018, his redshirt freshman season.


That year he watched the Chippewas go 1-11. The next season, current head coach Jim McElwain took over, the team went 8-6.

“The next year, we came back pretty hungry. And it was pretty embarrassing for all of us, honestly, to walk around this campus and be known as the 1-11 football team. So, it was kind of a chip on our shoulder,” the linebacker recalled.

Apsey appeared in eight games that season, and he still remembers what it was like appearing in his first collegiate game.

“Crazy. Butterflies everywhere, you’re so nervous, sitting there shaking before the ball gets snapped. But once you get going, you forget about the crowd. You’re just locked in the moment,” he said.


In 2020, his third season in Maroon and Gold, he appeared in all six games–and recorded three tackles.

“I always thought to myself, I knew I can play. So, came here, and in three years of work, I got a scholarship. So, it all panned out for me,” he said.

In 2021, the team went 9-4, and took home a 24-21 victory in the Sun Bowl. But last season, 2022, didn’t go as smoothly–the Chips went 4-8, the worst record CMU has seen under Head Coach McElwain.

“We just have a lot to prove this year. We had a disappointing year last year, I think we were complacent again, winning the Sun Bowl. We had a young team too, but I think last year was a big learning experience for everyone. And I think now we have more experience on the field,” Apsey said.


In the 5 years he’s spent with the team, Apsey has witnessed the program reach varying levels of success and failure.

He has also witnessed the college football landscape change.

Even in an era of NIL deals and entering the transfer portal, Apsey was never tempted to leave Mount Pleasant.

“I’m just happy being here… It’s just a big family oriented- based team, I have no reason to leave. I like the coaches, like the players. I like the campus. Plus, it’s close to home,” he said.


CMU’s 2023 fall camp has just begun, and Apsey is ready to take it all in.

“Yeah, it’s bittersweet. Yeah, got to take it all in, last ride. But I have to hang up the cleats sometime,” Apsey said.

Apsey will take the field for his final season-opener on September 1st against Michigan State at Spartan Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7pm.

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