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 we pay homage to two outstanding offensive lineman and give a shoutout to a junior running back who might be vying to steal a starting gig.
Blue Chip: Isaac Hayes, St. Thomas Academy, OL
We admittedly don't give enough love to linemen, mostly because it's always tough to know when they have good games — they don't accrue traditional stats. But here's one — St. Thomas Academy ran all over its opponent on Friday, trouncing Holy Family Catholic by a 48-7 margin. And while some of the credit goes to the running backs who all had impressive games, Hayes and the offensive line were a big reason for the team's rushing success.
OTP: Zack Johnson, Eastview, OL
As we said above, there aren't many chances to pay tribute to offensive lineman. But here's another one. Johnson gave us another reason to pay homage when he verbally committed to a college over the weekend. The senior O-lineman verbally committed to North Dakota State. He's the fourth recruit overall and second in the state to pledge to the Bison.
Under the Radar: Quran Al-Hameed, Woodbury, RB
You know how in the NFL players play hurt because they're afraid to lose their jobs? You have to wonder if Junius Wilson is worried. After he went down with an injury last weekend, Al-Hameed filled in and had a career day. The junior rusher put up 29 carries for 234 yards and scored three times, including on a 75-yard scamper, as Woodbury beat Roseville, 37-24.