Each week, we’ll take an in-depth look at our All-State preseason football team and let you know how a few of those athletes are faring as the season progresses. We'll highlight a blue-chipper (a first-team player), an OTP (other top player) and an under-the-radar pick (someone who didn't make the squad but is making a case to be on the team).
This week, stars from three undefeated teams do all the little things to make sure their teams remain some of the best in the state.
Blue Chip: Hunter Friesen, Mankato West, WR/DB
Friesen is like the Darrelle Revis of Minnesota high school football — throw that way at your own risk. His side of the field is not often targeted, so the senior has had to find other ways to contribute on the football field. The result? Friesen currently leads the state in touchdown receptions with 14 — one more than former cover and Vanderbilt pledge Andre McDonald. His play is one of the reasons the Scarlets are undefeated this year.
OTP: Brandon Larson, Bemidji, LB
Speaking of unbeaten teams, Bemidji's success has been due in large part to the play of Larson. The senior actually had a quiet game by his standards on Friday — five solo tackles and four assisted — but he has more than 100 tackles on the season, leading the team. It's certainly helped the Lumberjacks — the team has allowed only 65 points all season and has allowed seven or fewer in its last four games.
Under the Radar: Wesley Tucker, St. Croix Lutheran, RB
St. Croix Lutheran also remains unbeaten this season, and some big plays from Tucker were the difference in a game against St. Anthony this past weekend. Tucker came through for his team in the clutch, rushing 22 times for 356 yards and four touchdowns in a 54-14 victory. It was part of a backfield that rushed for more than 500 total yards in the contest.