When the 2018 high school football season began, most people knew Lakeville North had a chance to have a special season, but there were some doubts. As the season wore on – it became apparent the Panthers had a chance…
When the 2018 high school football season began, most people knew Lakeville North had a chance to have a special season, but there were some doubts. As the season wore on – it became apparent the Panthers had a chance for a special season. When Panthers’ senior running back Brian Curtis started the season, college recruiters were thinking similar things. As the season wore on – like the team – Curtis began to remove some of those doubts. Now Curtis has a state championship and multiple college football options in front of him.
It was a dream season for Curtis and the undefeated state champions.
“I wanted to cherish every moment playing football with these guys,” Curtis said. “Winning the championship was a high of my life so far.”
Curtis felt one of the keys to the season was how the team reacted when things didn’t go well.
“We didn’t beat each other up over little mistakes,” Curtis explained. “We didn’t let little mistakes or a bad play get to us. We moved on to the next play and left everything on the field every single week.”
Personally, Curtis had a record-breaking year. He tied the school record for yards per carry for a season, set the rushing yards in a season record and the rushing attempts record.
“I couldn’t ask from much more from my season. My season was out of this world. Being able to play with these guys was unbelievable.”
One of the keys to his success was his ability to do many things on the field.
“I am good at spotting holes,” Curtis told northstarfootballnews.com. “I would say my vision is what separates me from others. I can run, catch, run with power and go around people. I have a wide variety to my game.”
Curtis didn’t play running back until his freshman year.
“In ninth grade, I tried out for linebacker, but one of the coaches told me I was the fourth or fifth linebacker (on the depth chart). He said I should try running back. My first run (in a game) went for a 96-yard touchdown. I was pulled up to the JV the next week.”
He hasn’t looked back since.
A two-year varsity starter, Curtis is focused on improving his speed before he starts playing college ball, but also knows he needs to shore up at least one more area.
“I need to work on my blocking,” Curtis admitted. “I have the ability to block, but if I go to the next level, I won’t get many 180-pound linebackers running at me. I will have to improve my technique. Technique is everything.”
To get ready for college linebackers, Curtis is focused on the details.
“This winter I have been working mainly on little technique things like my footwork and cutting. I am also working on my lower body strength and working muscles that most people don’t use.”
This spring he will be running track – something he has been doing since 9th grade.
“I am a short distance guy,” Curtis said. “I run the 100, 200, 4X100, 4X200 and I usually to long jump and will try high jump this year too.”
Curtis’ recruiting started slowly.
“It has been interesting. There have been a lot of ups and downs. I have heard things like ‘he is not that good, it is just his line,.’ The biggest thing is interest in me has just been getting higher. Now I am getting some DI looks. It has been fun. It is crazy how much football can change your life.”
Most of his interest has been as a running back, but a few schools have mentioned defensive back.
Right now, he has offers from Minot State and Grand View. He also has had interest from Southwest Minnesota State, Dakota State and St. Cloud State and Curtis thinks offers may be around the corner. North Dakota State has talked to him as a possible preferred walk on.
“The schools like that I come from a winning program and that I know what it takes to win,” the 6’0″ 192-pound senior said. “They like that I am a leader. I am not afraid to voice my opinion, but I can still be respectful.”
Curtis has started to visit the schools who have him near the tops of their wish lists.
“I just got back from Minot last week. I went to Grand View on the 25th, and I will be going to SMSU and Dakota State in the next couple of weeks. We are still setting up a visit with SCSU.”
A team championship plus multiple school records have equaled increased opportunities for Brian Curtis. Those are opportunities that will continue to grow.