Oh, the 4th of July. A day full of patriotism, camaraderie, and fun, many people enjoy this holiday for the break from work, a day out in the sun, or to spend time with their families. What do I enjoy…
Oh, the 4th of July. A day full of patriotism, camaraderie, and fun, many people enjoy this holiday for the break from work, a day out in the sun, or to spend time with their families. What do I enjoy most about today you may ask? Fireworks of course! Nothing excites me more about today than seeing incredibly exciting and mesmerizing explosions come out of unexpected packages. With this spirit of combustion in mind, here’s my Top 5 most explosive Minnesota Prep players and their firework counterparts.
#5. Kaden Johnson, SMB-LB/WR
Firework=M80. I felt obliged to incorporate a primarily defensive player on this list as a player’s explosiveness is not limited to having the ball in your hands. Luckily for me, Kaden plays both ways. His explosiveness is obvious no matter what position he’s playing. At 6’4 and 220 lbs, he is explosive with his first step when rushing the passer, he’s explosive at the point of contact, and he’s explosive at the point of the catch when playing receiver. With 8 sacks and 21 TFLs, it is easy to see his combustibility whether on his Hudl or in his stats. Similar to the M80, Kaden’s appeal and goal is simple: blow things up as quickly, ferociously, and loudly as possible. Also similar to the M80, if you don’t take him seriously, you will get hurt.
#4. Kham (Thai) Chiaokhiao-Bowman, Robbinsdale Armstrong-WR
Firework=Artillery Shells. Measuring 6’1 and 180 lbs and holding FBS offers from the likes of Western Michigan, Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic, Ball State, and Central Michigan, it is obvious to see that I am not the only one who believes in Kham’s flammability after scoring 5 touchdowns in 7 games for Armstrong. Although he possesses soft hands and great top-end speed, where Kham distinguishes himself is in his one-cut ability. His jump-cut during his routes reminds me of Jeff Jones‘ cutting ability from 2014, and watching his film you can see that the defenders are anticipating this cut, yet still cannot stop it. This parallels well to the artillery shell firework. You know you have to ignite a fuse and drop a mortar into the launching tube every time, just as you know Kham’s cut is coming every time, but it never takes away from the excitement of the explosion.
#3. Matthias Algarin, Pierz-ATH
Firework=Bees. While the name may not sound familiar, look up a video of a bees firework and you will no doubt experience the nostalgia of watching these little explosives buzz, spin out of control, and zip around your backyard much like their namesake on a hot summer day. Also similar to the bees, Matthias may not be a name that you find yourself instantly familiar with. That will change. Matthias recently picked up a Power 5 offer from Scott Frost at Nebraska after having an incredible camp in Lincoln. He scored an absurd 120.03 Nike SPARQ score, and recorded well over 1,000 total yards from scrimmage last season. Matthias is reminiscent of the bees because there is no telling where he will go or what will happen after he touches the ball. He is so shifty that, much like the bees, it is better to simply stay away and let him run himself out.
#2. Raja Nelson, Lakeville North-ATH
Firework=Bottle Rockets. A 2018 All-State First Team Offensive selection, the rising senior who measures in at 5’10 and 180 lbs recorded over 28 TDs last season and holds an FBS offer from Army as well as FCS offers from NDSU and UND. However, don’t be surprised if more FBS offers come soon, especially a Power 5. His game reminds me of a bottle rocket, which is so potentially dangerous it is banned in Canada. He moves with such force North and South that you cannnot help but be reminded of the aggressive yet enthralling firework. Raja’s shiftiness leaves defenders stuck in their tracks as if you shot a bottle rocket at them, and is exciting at the point of contact like the firework he reminds me of.
#1. Jalen Suggs, SMB-QB
Firework=Parachutes. Not the most surprising choice for our #1 explosive MN prep, but how can you blame me? Measuring in at 6’5 and 200 lbs, the #1 duel-sport athlete in the country is a walking firework himself. Having been offered by Minnesota, Ohio State, and Texas A&M amongst others, Jalen has the ability to change the game no matter what position he is playing. He could throw a 60+ yard bomb, take-off with the ball and make all 11 members of the defense miss, or intercept a ball and take it to the house. Sometimes it seems like he can do whatever he wants to, whenever he wants to. All you have to do is watch the first-play of his Hudl to understand that this kid is special. On one play in the State Championship game vs. Wilmar, Jalen escaped the pocket, made a few cuts and a spin, and the next thing you know almost all 11 Wilmar defenders were on the ground and Jalen is walking into the end zone. I liked the parachute as a firework comparison because, just like Jalen, the parachutes make a show. You get to see the blast-off, the spectacle of the explosion, and then you get to watch the little soldier fly back down to Earth, making you feel like a kid again even if you’ve watched it a thousand times. Jalen has that same effect.