Helped the Hornets finish the regular season ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 6A with 50 receptions for 680 yards and five touchdowns. Had a 97-yard TD reception against Wayzata. Picked up lots of yards after the catch. Also was a key player on defense. Averaged 15.3 yards per punt return.
The all-state wide receiver switched to running back to help fill the hole left when Mitch Underhill was injured. Finished the season with 1,156 total yards. Thirty-four of his 78 rushing attempts and 11 of his 16 receptions resulted in a first down or touchdown for the Class 6A semifinalists. Finished with 15 TDs. Averaged 28.1 yards on kick returns.
At 6 feet 2, 235 pounds, he was a physical run stopper and pass rusher for the Big Rivers Conference champions. He had 39 tackles and seven sacks -- and even blocked a punt that he returned for a touchdown.
Has 96 tackles and seven sacks this season, including seven tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss in Eden Prairie's 21-7 victory over Wayzata in the big-school semifinals. One of the defense's inspirational leaders. Has
committed to play at Boston College.
The leading rusher in the state among Class 6A players with 1,357 yards and 18 touchdowns. Averaged 6.88 yards per carry and 12.5 yards per reception. Runner-up to Jake Wieneke of Maple Grove for offensive MVP in the Northwest Suburban Conference.
School:Spring Lake Park
The 6-2, 210-pounder rushed for a school-record 1,554 yards and scored 17 touchdowns for the North Suburban Conference champions. Averaged 8.88 yards per carry. Also led the Panthers with 105 tackles and was a force on special teams. Was the MVP of the North Suburban Conference.
The 6-7, 280-pounder was a dominant force for the Islanders, the top-ranked team in Class 3A. He anchored an offensive line that carved big holes for DeLaSalle runners. Would like to play at Minnesota, but more than a dozen Division I school are interested.
An all-state selection in Wisconsin and player of the year in the Middle Border Conference, he paved the way for running backs to pile up 2,128 rushing yards and 26 TDs. The 6-foot-5, 305-pounder had 82 tackles, including 22 for loss, and also had five sacks. In his three seasons as a starter, the Cardinals have rushed for 5,529 yards. Has multiple Division I offers.
The three-year starter has 255 career tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery and two interceptions. He is the catalyst on a ball-hawking defense that has the Panthers in the Class 6A championship game. "I don't know if I have ever met a more dedicated athlete," Panthers coach Brian Vossen said.
School:St. Paul Humboldt
Led the revived Hawks by throwing for 1,603 yards and 12 touchdowns. Also rushed for 874 yards and 11 TDs for a team that was winless in 2011. Humboldt coach Steve Elizondo calls him "an old-fashioned football player." Produced 2,477 of his team's 2,983 yards of offense.
The multi-sport star passed for 1,851 yards and 16 touchdowns in nine games to lead the Pioneers to the Class 4A state tournament. Missed a couple of games because of knee surgery. A Division I hockey prospect, LaValle "could easily play college football," says Hill-Murray football coach Mark Mauer, a former quarterback at Nebraska.
The Wisconsin all-state selection was a three-year starter, and this season, helped the Spartans gain nearly 5,000 yards en route to the WIAA Division 4 state championship. Also had 100 tackles on defense.
School:St. Croix Lutheran
Outstanding leader and dominant lineman for a run-oriented Crusaders team that advanced to the Class 3A quarterfinals. Was an integral part of a two-year run when St. Croix Lutheran was 23-2 and won the 2011 Class 3A championship. "He dominated his opponents," Crusaders coach Carl Lemke said.
School:St. Thomas Academy
The Pioneer Press player of the year, he had 97 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, four interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Asked to play on offense midway through the season, he responded with 373 yards rushing and four TDs, plus six receptions for 131 yards and two TDs. Was the Classic Suburban player of the year. Has committed to play at Dartmouth.
The leader of the Eagles' defense had 125 tackles, three fumble recoveries and a pass interception in leading top-ranked Totino-Grace to a spot in the Class 5A championship game. "He is as relentless a football player as I've seen or coached," Eagles coach Jeff Ferguson said. "If there is a play across the field or down the field, he gets there."
The 6-3, 250-pounder was the Suburban East Conference defensive lineman of the year, and the cornerstone of a defense that allowed just 193 yards and 8.75 points per game. Had 31 solo tackles, 46 total tackles, five tackles for loss and four sacks. "Mick comes off the ball and delivers the first blow better than anyone I've seen this year," Mustangs coach Jim Galvin said.
School:Spring Lake Park
Had 70 tackles and eight sacks to lead the Panthers to a one-loss season that ended in the section final. Was the North Suburban Conference defensive player of the year. Also played on the offensive line, paving the way for a running attack that averaged 353.2 yards per game.
The Notre Dame recruit was the Raiders' best player on each side of the ball. He led the Suburban East Conference with 116 points. He rushed for 574 yards and scored 12 TDs and had 26 receptions for 421 yards and five other TDs. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder is Minnesota's top recruit and will start his studies at Notre Dame in January.
School:St. Paul Highland Park
The defensive MVP of the St. Paul City Conference had 69 tackles, four interceptions and four forced fumbles. On offense, he compiled 1,259 total yards and had five scoring plays of 60 yards or more. Rushed for 689 yards and nine TDs, and had 540 yards on 27 receptions and 10 more TDs.
School:South St. Paul
Had 83 tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries to lead the Packers to an 8-2 season and runner-up finish in Class 4A, Section 4. When called on to help out offensively, he rushed for 116 yards on 16 carries and scored three times. Also had 165 receiving yards and three more TDs.
He piled up 1,528 all-purpose yards in six Suburban East Conference games. Rushed for 364 yards and three TDs, and passed for 563 yards and four TDs. Averaged 32.5 yards on punt returns and scored three times. Averaged 31 yards on kick returns and also had a TD.
The 6-2, 250-pounder had 108 tackles and was the centerpiece of the defense for a team that finished 7-3 and runner-up to Bemidji in Class 5A, Section 7. Selected the North Suburban Conference's offensive lineman of the year; offense averaged 400 yards per game, including 300 rushing.
School:St. Thomas Academy
Had a perfect kicking season, making a state-record 15 of 15 field goals, with a long of 47 yards, and going 39 of 39 on extra-point attempts. Booted 49 of his 67 kickoffs for touchbacks. Also averaged 40 yards per punt for the Class 5A semifinalists.
The 5-11, 200-pounder rarely left the field for the Orioles. He rushed for 1,173 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. Also caught 18 passes for 243 yards and three more TDs. On defense, he had eight interceptions. Also a standout basketball player for a team that won the Class 4A state championship last season.
School:St. Paul Harding
He passed for 1,161 and five touchdowns, plus ran for 618 yards and 14 touchdowns. On defense, he had 32-1/2 tackles, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries. "He willed our football team to many victories late in games," coach Michael Houston said.
School:St. Paul Central
Playing much of the season with a groin injury, he rushed for 915 yards and 16 TDs. Finished with 1,389 all-purpose yards for the St. Paul City Conference champs. Caught 14 passes for 106 yards, and had 266 return yards. Had 84 tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles on defense.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder had 56 receptions for 1,155 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 21 yards a catch. "He has unbelievable body control and ball skills that are unparalleled," Crimson coach Matt Lombardi said.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash at the Gophers' camp. Finished with 16 sacks and 52 tackles, including 22 for loss. Had 16 sacks as a junior. "Wherever he lands in college, (they) will be getting the total package," Woodbury coach Andy Hill said.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike Fritze, Apple Valley
Took a team that was 1-8 last year and forecasted to finish last in the South Suburban Conference to an 8-3 record and the championship in Class 5A, Section 3. Included in the Eagles' regular-season run were victories over state-tournament teams Rosemount, Prior Lake and Eastview. Has retired from coaching football after 37 years, including the past 18 as head coach. Has a total of 103 seasons coaching various sports at Apple Valley.
Michael Alada, Hill-Murray, WR, sr.
Lars Anderson, Mounds View, LB, sr.
Justin Axelson, Spring Lake Park TE/DE, sr.
Michael Backus, Eastview, OL, sr.
Blake Banham, Cretin-Derham Hall, RB/WR/DB, jr.
John Bednarczyk, Totino-Grace, OL, sr.
Robert Bergstrom, St. Paul Central, LT/DE, jr.
Matt Bowlin, Holy Angels, S, sr.
Nate Bowman, Burnsville, DL, jr.
Keelon Brookins, Tartan, DB, sr.
Eric Brown, Chisago Lakes, RB, sr.
Caleb Butler, Blaine, LB, sr.
Elijah Campbell, St. Paul Central, RB/KR/DB/P, sr.
Calvin Carlson, St. Paul Central, DE/special teams, sr.
Parker Chapman, St. Thomas Academy, OLB, sr.
Jack Cichy, Hill-Murray, LB, sr.
Ian Collins, Edina, OT, sr.
Jaried Combs, DeLaSalle, DE/WR, sr.
J.T. DenHartog, Hopkins, QB, sr.
Michael Diggins, Centennial, RB, sr.
Deon Dorvil, Edina, DT, sr.
Tray Fears, St. Paul Highland Park, DL, sr.
Rakeem Felder, Osseo, DL, sr.
Karl Finkel, Lakeville North, DL, sr.
Shane Finnegan, Hill-Murray, TE, sr.
Coleman Foley, Edina, SS, sr.
Garret Gardner, St. Paul Central, LB/HB/special teams, soph.
Sam Garry, St. Paul Highland Park, OL/DL, sr.
Lucas Grossoehme, Burnsville, LB, sr.
Mark Handberg, Edina, sr.
Theo Haslow, St. Paul Central, WR/FS, sr.
J.C. Hassenauer, East Ridge, OL, jr.
Andrew Herkenhoff, Burnsville, DB, sr.
Darius Hill, Minneapolis Henry, WR, sr.
Sam Hodnefield, Stillwater, LB, sr.
Jaron Holt, Burnsville, LB, jr.
Jackson Hull, Mahtomedi, RB, jr.
Ismael Kamara, St. Paul Harding, DB, soph.
Sam Keis, Holy Angels, QB, sr.
Billy Kellogg, Robbinsdale Cooper, RB, sr.
Gary Knick, St. Paul Central, MLB/special teams, sr.
Ryan Landherr, Prior Lake, OL, sr.
Danny Laudet, Stillwater, K, sr.
Louie LeBert, Centennial, OT, sr.
Patrick LeCorre, Edina, K, soph.
Nick Leach, East Ridge, RB, jr.
Miles Lerner, Edina, LB, sr.
Christian Malinowski, Centennial, MLB, sr.
Raymonte Maynard, Mpls. Washburn, RB, sr.
Jacob Ojile, Spring Lake Park, DE, sr.
Oscar Opara, DeLaSalle, CB, jr.
Josh Parks, Chisago Lakes, RB, jr.
Elijah Patrick, Prior Lake, DL, sr.
Chris Pierson, Wayzata, DB, sr.
Kevin Placide, Edina, RB, jr.
Will Rains, Eastview, RB, soph.
Tyson Reinke, Eden Prairie, DL, sr.
Conor Rhoda, Cretin-Derham Hall, QB, sr.
Joe Robel, Blaine, DB, sr.
Noah Scarver, Mpls. Washburn, TE/DE, sr.
Joe Schiller, Totino-Grace, DL, sr.
Kyle Schmidt, Woodbury, OL/DL, sr.
Brett Shepley, Burnsville, DB, soph.
Jake Short, Simley, RB/SS, sr.
Joey Silversmith, St. Paul Highland Park, QB/K/P, sr.
Blake Skaja, Maple Grove, sr.
Keaton Studsrud, Benilde-St. Margaret's, QB, jr.
Reid Travis, DeLaSalle, QB, jr.
Nick Truen, White Bear Lake, RB, sr.
Eric Tusa, Prior Lake, K, sr.
Nick Waldvogel, St. Thomas Academy, RB/WR/KR, sr.
Ben Walker, Centennial, S, sr.
Nick Wanzek, Simley, QB/LB, sr.
Aaron Warren, DeLaSalle, SS, sr.
Michael Warren, Providence, OL, sr.
Connor Wilkie, Andover, QB, jr.
Chris Williams, DeLaSalle, RB, jr.
Dimitri Williams, Rosemount, RB, soph.
Chris Wipson, Wayzata, LB, sr.
Brycen Wojta, Maple Grove, WR/DB/KR/PR, sr.
Alex Wood, Lakeville North, LB, sr.
Preston Woods, South St. Paul, OL/DL, jr.
Chandler Wright, Wayzata, OL, sr.
Lee Yang, St. Paul Harding, SS, sr.
Zach Ziemer, Lakeville North, OL, sr.