PrepRedzoneMN Showcase MVPs: LB/RB
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Our second ever PrepRedzoneMN Showcase was a talent-ridden affair filled with size, strength, and athleticism across three graduating classes with preps from two different Upper Midwest states. Across two sessions held at the Rosemount Irish Dome, the scouts, media, and college coaches…
Our second ever PrepRedzoneMN Showcase was a talent-ridden affair filled with size, strength, and athleticism across three graduating classes with preps from two different Upper Midwest states. Across two sessions held at the Rosemount Irish Dome, the scouts, media, and college coaches involved got to lay their eyes on some already solidified stars, many up and coming young bucks, and even new to the scene potential breakout athletes, so we are going to follow up yesterday’s OL/DL MVP feature and venture into the standouts from the LB and RB position groups at the event. The RBs and LBs worked out during Session 1 along with the lineman, so we got a much more detailed look at the athletes playing near the LOS that we maybe otherwise wouldn’t if they were to compete with the WRs and DBs, and it was very enjoyable to be able to switch back and forth between lineman running into each other and the smaller boys trying to run away from each other. Enough about me though, now that my fellow scouts have finished their reports from the Showcase and the testing results are in hand I wanted to wrap things up by naming the overall MVPs from each position group, so scroll below to find out which linebackers and running backs showed up and showed out last Sunday. Thanks for reading!
(Lakeville South) 2023. 6’.5, 183 lbs.
What a showing from the Lakeville South sophomore RB who took the Metro by storm last fall. If you’re a long time subscibrer to the site you already know that I am a big fan of this kid and have been hyping him and his game up for a little bit now, but I was completely 100% reaffirmed by my excitement about him as a prospect after seeing him move last Sunday. He posted a 4.56 40, a 4.32 short shuttle, and a 10’1 broad (!) as a still growing underclassman and was exciting, explosive, and dominant during 1 on 1s. Something I talked to a coach and friend from the event about afterwards was how a lot of RBs wanted to try and show off their athleticism by running crazy routes out of the backfield such as hitch and go’s and post-corners, both of which would never ever be called for a RB to run in a real game. What we as scouts and coaches want to see RBs run is how explosive you can be in one cut routes and short area, game like situations where you probably have only a second or a cut or get open from a LB or S, and boy oh boy did Hansen show off that he could break off his routes and plant his foot in the ground with AUTHORITY. He was incredibly explosive when cutting, and was a natural, smooth, and fluid route runner who showed nuance and instincts in his game for all of the makings of a legitimate Power-5 scholarship RB. His tape backs up my claim as well. Keep your ears open fo this kid going forward, everyone!
(Champlin Park) 2022. 6’2, 192 lbs.
I feel like an absolute fool after ranking Givance where he is this past 2022 update, especially since the CP Rebel boys have really been in my ear about his talent and potential for quite sometime now. He had one of the best individual testing performance from either session of the Showcase and clocked a 4.63 40, 4.34 short shuttle, and a 10’8 (!!!!!!) broad jump for by far the best broad jump of the day. Man, was this kid explosive during 1 on 1s too. Capable of running every route on the tree with precision and agility, he was also a total deep threat with great hands who could take the top off the defense and would be a total asset in the passing game as a RB. He was also a lean a ripped 190+ pounds with a ton more room to grow and put on weight, and it’s easy to see he’s a special athlete with his best football still in front of him. He was slippery, explosive, and athletic, and South Dakota State, Winona State, and Minnesota-Duluth made an excellent choice in reaching out with an early offer to the Champlin Park standout.
(SMB) 2022. 5’10, 160 lbs.
Redd was a SMB Wolfpack playmaker who had a really explosive 2020 season and possesses some of the most impressive tape in the state in terms of speed. He was able to absolutely showcase that talent during 1 on 1s, where he was absolutely dusting kids and playing with a crazy amount of game speed and burst that really were prevalent at the top of the route and at his release, where he was basically untouchable for opposing LBs. Redd also stayed and competed as a WR at the second session and will earn MVP honors there as well, so this won’t be the last you hear of him today. This kid is a total gamer and has a really good understanding of route running, elusiveness, and how to separate and set up defenders in coverage. FCS schools are going to get involved very soon.
(NRHEG) 2023. 5’10, 181 lbs.
Clocked a 4.66 40, 4.37 short shuttle, and a 8’10 broad for some really impressive testing numbers for the sophomore hailing from the New Richland area in Southern MN. A really well built and athletic sophomore, Phillips was dynamic as a pass-catcher and showed an ability to separate and get open from the backfield with a variety of routes and a open field moves. He had soft hands, was an explosive cutter, and did a great job of lining up, setting up, and breaking away from LBs in coverage. There’s a lot to like from the underclassman and he’s going to be putting up some monster stats before we know it.
Gus Theisen (Eau Claire Regis) 2022. 5’10, 199 lbs.
A cut up, well-built, and powerfully built RB prospect, Theisen absolutely tore it up in testing and recorded a 4.5 40 (!!), a 4.16 (!!) short shuttle, and a 9’10 broad (!) to really showcase his explosive ability and overall athleticism. Not only were his numbers impressive, Theisen was a really tough matchup for LBs that afternoon and was tremendous with his burst and cutting ability making LBs really hesitant and slow to react when attempting to guard him. His hands were strong, he could make catches through contact and in contested situations, and also showed a little bit of hops and ability to get up and high point the football. He’s part of a loaded EC Regis backfield and is going to stuff the stat line as a senior next fall, as well as get on a ton of scholarship recruiting boards after camp season concludes. Excellent job, Gus!
Carter Birr (Albany) 2022. 5’7.5, 166 lbs.
The Albany Huskies had a tremendous 2020 fall season and really were a hotbed for college recruiters as they provided prospects of production, strength, and technical superiorty. With a really dangerous rushing attack that graduated some experienced seniors, it seems that the next in line standout RB has revealed himself after Birr’s performance last Sunday. He ran a 4.59 40, back to back 4.4s in the short shuttle, and a 9’4 broad jump and used all of those physical tools when competing during 1 on 1s. He was slippery and strong in his route running and was hard to corrale in space. I have a feeling he really shines when the pads come on, and I am excited to see his recruitment hopefully take off soon.
(Mankato East) 2022. 5’8.5, 175 lbs.
A powerfully built 175 lbs. versatile SB/RB/OLB prospect out of Mankato, Gus battled through an injury from the season to compete in January’s Showcase and was healthier and closer to 100% for last Sunday’s Rosemount event. I loved his versatilty on film from his sophomore year, and I was really happy to see that translate to the field as the quickness I saw on tape paid off with a 4.37 and 4.25 short shuttle, as well as a 4.72 40 and 7.34 L-drill. He was also very twitchy and efficient during 1 on 1s and showed a ton of ability to separate as well as finish plays strongly. He was deceptive in his cuts and did a good job of not telegraphing where he was breaking to, and had soft hands and made some really tough catches throughout the afternoon. He’s dynamic, athletic, and could also play through contact and had no problem tapping into the physical part of the game. Great job, Mr. Gartzke!
Greg Shafer (Lakeview) 2023. 5’7, 151 lbs.
The Lakeview Lakers of Cottonwood, MN had a very impressive showing at Sunday’s showcase and Shafer proved himself to be an underclassman worth nothing and keeping track of after his performance at the event. He’s a total speedster and clocked a 4.56 40, a 4.5 short shuttle, and a 9’1 broad at a lean but wirey 150ish pounds. He did a good job of bringing that speed we saw in testing into the competitive portion of the Showcase, and had good burst off the LOS and really showed off some deep threat, big play ability with some impressive routes and catches down the field. He was also efficient and strong in short area and intermediate catches, and I think there’s a lot to like about his big play ability. I’ll be keeping my eye on Lakeview these next couple of seasons for sure!
(Eau Claire Regis) 2024. 5’8, 163 lbs.
I was happy that the EC Regis young buck introduced himself to me and Mark Johnson at the event and it was cool to see a younger cat really taking the initiative with his recruiting, as I could tell he was serious about football and where it could take him in college. For a freshman, Andrews was really well built and was a cut up 163 pounds, as I’m sure having to be a part of a loaded Regis offensive backfield breeds and fuels competition. Not only that, Andrew showed off some really soft hands and was not worried in the slightest about the competition or the fact that he was running against more experienced LBs. I liked the potential he showed in his route running ability and he has a bright future ahead of him.
(Martin County West) 2023.
I’ve had my eye on Forsberg for a while now, especially after his January showing at our PrepRedzoneMN event. He’s a really powerfully built sophomore who is cut up in his upper and lower body and plays like how he is built, with power, physicality, and explosiveness. Of all o the RBs he was one of the best route-runners and could gain separation with either quickness or strength at the top of the route, as he was impressive at powering through contact and boxing out LBs to make a play on the ball. I love how he plays and he’s fun to watch, especially in pads. Big things coming from him.
(Hutchinson) 2023. 5’11, 188 lbs.
Another younger Hutch Tiger very much worth being excited about, Teetzel recorded a 4.26 and 4.34 in the short shuttle and was incredibly quick and agile in space. With a long frame and a ton of room to continue to grow he brings a lot of noteworthy weapons to the gridiron going forward.
Nathan Litke (Spring Lake Park) 2022. 5’11, 195 lbs.
Really well built at 5’11, 195 lbs. and was a complete and really well rounded athlete with a ton of tools in his skill set. He clocked a 4.29 short shuttle and a 9’7 broad jump as well as a 7.13 in the L-drill. His body control and balance were excellent, and he could break off his routes in a clean and efficient fashion, never wasting steps and never letting the defender know he was going to cut. His play backed up his great film and I wish I got to see him ball a little more than I did.
Noah Smith (Rochester Mayo) 2022. 6’, 186 lbs.
Had a great testing portion of the event and recorded a 4.75 40, a 4.34 short shuttle, and a 9’9 broad jump for a really stellar performance there. I didn’t get to see him compete during 1 on 1s as much as I would have liked to, unfortunately.
(Rogers) 2024. 6’3, 204 lbs.
WE HAVE A FRESHMAN STUD ALERT, PEOPLE!! Check out these measurables from the first year high schooler from Rogers. At 6’3, 204 lbs. he ran a 4.84 40, a 4.47 short shuttle, and a 9’1 broad jump for some really exceptional testing numbers for a 14-15 year old. I think defenders really underestimated Gilmore when they lined up against him on Sunday, as his speed at his size took a lot of people by surprise and really showed up when he was running 1 on 1s. He was able to get a step on LBs before they knew and looked confident and athletic when running after and catching the football, and could adjust and get under the rock well. He has a tremendous amount of upside and if he is physical and aggressive in pads he’s going to have a breakout season in the fall of 2021. Go Royals!
(Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial) 2022. 5’11, 205 lbs.
The small school Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial product had one of the strongest showings of any backer at the entire showcase, and particularly knocked my socks off with his performance during testing and 1 on 1s. At 5’11, 205 lbs., he clocked a 4.78 40, a 4.34 short shuttle, and a 9’ broad jump and showcased some of the best body control of the LBs at the event who could get himself back into a good position to make a play on the ball despite a small setback throughout the route. His speed and athleticism helped him make plays on deeper routes, and his instincts and technique were all present as he did a good job of maintaining eye discipline and getting his head around only when he was in phase with the route runner. He also used his hands effectively at the start of the route or when the RB was breaking his hips down and was able to break up a ton of passes throughout the day on a lot of nice routes from his opposing RBs and good throws from the QBs. I came away really impressed by Ludeman and the prospects the LCWM program is pumping out.
(Hutchinson) 2022. 6’3, 215 lbs.
I am a big fan of the Hutchinson program and the Tigers showed up in force last Sunday much to my delight. Elliott was one of those Tiger prospects and the 6’3, 215-220 lber. was one who I was particularly excited to see as his junior and sophomore Hudl’s are filled with hard hits and an aggressive North-South attitude that I thought would translate more to an ILB role at the next level. I was very pleased to see that Elliott was incredibly rangy for his size and had no issues changing direction and covering smaller backs out in space, and although the 1 on 1s for these groups are more geared to the RBs (they have a lot more room and time to run routes than in a normal football game), Elliott had the top-end speed to go stride for stride with RBs on deeper routes downfield. Not only that, his long arms and ability to change direction made him really sticky when guarding more traditional routes out of the backfield such as arrows, outs, and dumps in space, and he was able to break up a good amount of passes throughout the afternoon on a variety of routes. Another thing I was really juiced about was his frame and size, as the legit 6’3 LB has broad shoulders and a TON more room to continue adding weight. He’s got D1 potential and I hope some FCS schools start giving him a good hard look this camp season.
(Chanhassen) 2022. 6’1.25, 204 lbs.
Really tested well with a 4.97 40, a 4.47, and 4.41 on the short shuttle, and an 8’10 broad and showed those athletic strengths during the competition period as he was excellent at getting out his breaks with power and could close on the football with impressive speed and burst. He used his hands well to boot, and with a solid, muscle-bound frame he’s going to be a tank of a senior LB for Chan this fall.
(De Pere, WI) 2022. 5’11, 185 lbs.
One of the unanimous standouts from the LB position group at the Showcase came out of our neighbors to the east in De Pere’s. Having just finished leading his Redbirds to an undefeated spring season, Rinard showed that he was in midseason form and clocked a 4.4 short shuttle and a 7.28 L-drill, showing off his change of direction skills as well as burst. He put these skills to good use later in the afternoon as well, as he was one of the stickiest LBs in coverage and could react to and undercut a ton of different routes, particularly when facing more traditional RB routes out of the backfield and in the slot. His noteworthy coverage skills has led me to believe he could play a variety of LB roles at the next level, and could maybe even venture into the slot to cover WRs and RBs out on the exterior of the LOS. He also had the best performance during the Best of the Best reps at the end of the day, and I came away very impressed with the Wisco native. NSIC schools should be all over this kid.
(Walker-Hackensack-Akeley) 2022. 6’1.5, 185 lbs.
Ran a 4.97 40, a 4.72 short shuttle, and back-to-back 8’10 broad jumps and was a fluid backer in coverage who was physical at every opportunity given and used his hands well at the top of the route or when breaking up passes. He’s a good-looking and athletic recruit who NSIC schools should definitely get on campus this summer.
(Fairmont) 2022. 5’10.5, 180 lbs.
Really tested well as he recorded a 4.82 40, a 4.39 short shuttle, and a 9’2 broad jump. I didn’t get to see him compete very much during 1 on 1s but I loved how he moved and cut during testing.
(Rosemount) 2023. 6’3, 213 lbs.
Our #8 ranked recruit in the state of Minnesota in the class of 2023, I was very excited to see the Rosemount Irish legacy prospect in person and he lived up to the hype and then some after seeing him last Sunday. At a legit 6’3, 215 lbs., he clocked a 4.72 and 4.62 short shuttle and a 9’1 broad jump to showcase some explosiveness and short-area burst, and was physical and aggressive in space and in coverage and showed some good instincts and understanding of where RBs were going to break and cut to. He could break really effectively and was a force at the contact point when the ball got to the RBs hands, and showed off some strength and power when he’d get his hands on route runners or break up the football. He’s an impressive physical specimen who is going to be a legit ILB prospect at the next level.
(KLC, WI) 2022. 6’1, 201 lbs.
Ran a 4.9 40, a 4.35 short shuttle, and a 9’ broad to go along with a 7.16 L-drill. I didn’t get to see Stephany perform as much as I would have liked to, but he blew away fellow scouts Nate Wahl and Mark Johnson due to his instincts in coverage and fluidity in space. He’s smooth, long, and aggressive, and did a great job of competing on every rep and showed a dynamic ability as a LB as he could get downfield in a hurry but was easy and explosive in his cuts and could mirror RBs movement with ease. He brings a lot of athleticism and exciting traits to the position.
(SMB) 2022. 6’1, 213 lbs.
Ran a 4.91 40, a 4.53 short shuttle, and a 9’5 broad jump at almost 215 lbs. He was very athletic and was explosive out of his stance, which helped him cover ground and get hip to hip with RBs before they knew it. He was especially great when breaking on the football, and finished every rep strong and with authority. He especially shines when in pads, and his downfield and aggressive playing style isn’t necessarily suited for this kind of environment, so I was very impressed with how he performed in the open field at his size.
(Mankato West) 2022. 6’, 202 lbs.
Wow, what an individual performance by the Mankato West junior backer. At over 200 lbs. he ran a 4.65 and 4.66 40, a 4.25 short shuttle, and a 9’7 broad jump for overall the best testing numbers of any LB at the entire Showcase. There wasn’t a single route that the Scarlett backer couldn’t cover, as deep routes, doubles moves, and quicker one-cut routes were all easy to recognize and react to for Haley, and his technique and skill-set really likened him more to a DB than a LB, which is very exciting for his size and playing style and downhill tenacity. He’s got to be one of the best athletes at the LB position in the state and brings an incredible amount of versatility and dynamic ability to the position. Thanks for showing off your skills, Ryan!