Top Minnesotan RB, QB, WR, OL, DL, LB, & DB of 2022
In this article:
I hope you guys have been enjoying the positional player of the year semifinalist series as much as I enjoyed putting them together! Although it can be stressful putting these lists together and tough-treading cutting, ranking, and selecting recruits over…
I hope you guys have been enjoying the positional player of the year semifinalist series as much as I enjoyed putting them together! Although it can be stressful putting these lists together and tough-treading cutting, ranking, and selecting recruits over each other, the end result makes it worthwhile and I was and am still excited about the inaugural PRzMN positional player of the year series, named after the best player the state has produced at the QB, RB, WR, OL, DL, LB, and DB spots. Next year, we’ll be adding TE and specialists as well! Now that every semifinalist has been named and the seven featured articles are published, it’s finally time to wrap things up in this final award write-up and name each positional player of the year for the 2022 season. It’s been a heckuva fun time covering this past high school football season in the state, but all good things must come to an end and this is a great way to put a nice bow on things now that we’re into 2023. Not to mention a nice way to transition to the rankings updates. 2026 update starts tomorrow! Before we begin, let’s take one last second of congratulations for the PRzMN inaugural Players of the Year for 2022-23. Big things coming!
PrepRedzoneMN 2022 Player of the Year:(Robbinsdale Cooper) Senior. Committed to LSU
Steve Walsh Award for MN’s QB of the Year inaugural Winner:(Stillwater) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
There were some outstanding performances from gunslingers all over Minnesota this past fall and the selection for the semifinalists was tough sledding. The choice for the first-ever Steve Walsh Award for MN’s QB of the Year was a little easier, as Stillwater’swas so hot in 2022 that the hometown Gophers simply had to get involved and offered a prestigious PWO, flipping him from mid-major basketball commit to Big10 QB signee in the matter of a couple of months. His play and passing ability also elevated the Ponies to their strongest state title contention in 10 years, and proved to be smart, accurate, productive, and explosive with the football while adding in a great mix of running ability and overall athleticism. Now, he’s the first-ever Steve Walsh Award winner. Congratulations, Max!
(East Ridge) Junior.
(Stillwater) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
(Mankato West) Junior.
Jakob Nachreiner (Springfield) Junior.
(Mt. Iron-Buhl) Senior. Committed to St. Olaf
(Norwood Young America) Senior.
(Maple Grove) Senior.
Marion Barber III Award for MN’s RB of the Year inaugural Winner:(Lakeville South) Senior. Committed to Iowa State
Not the toughest choice here, Lakeville South senior and Iowa State Cyclone commithas had P5 written all over him since his breakout sophomore season with the Cougars. Long, twitchy, and explosive, he’s had to follow in the footsteps of some big-time prep running backs, and without blinking an eye, has blown them out of the water in terms of talent, production, and athleticism. Playing at the big school level against some of the top competition the state has to offer, Hansen has been giving defenses fits for the past three seasons and possesses standout speed, length, and elusiveness in comparison to his counterparts. Now, he’s heading to the bright lights of Ames and the Big12, to nobody’s surprise. And it’s with the inaugural Marion Barber III Award under his belt as well. Congratulations, Carson!
(Lakeville South) Senior. Committed to Iowa State
(Hill-Murray) Senior. Committed to North Dakota
(Waconia) Senior. Committed to Minnesota (wrestling)
Corey Bohmert (Mahtomedi) Senior.
(Chatfield) Senior. Committed to MSU-Mankato
Larry Fitzgerald Award for MN’s WR of the Year inaugural Winner: Eli Paulson (Anoka) Senior. Committed to St. Thomas
Coming into the season unheralded on the gridiron but far from inexperienced, Anoka Tornadoes senior pass-catcher Eli Paulson had one of the best statistical seasons of any player in Minnesota in 2022, regardless of position or graduating class. The slotback, facing big school competition, double teams, and defensive game planning, broke the Minnesota single-season receptions record of 90 by totaling 96 catches during the course of 2022. This included three 17-catch games, a 228-yard performance, and 10 TDs over the nine games of competition. He finished with 96 catches for 1,225 yards and 10 TDs as a senior and, after coming into the season without any reported college interest, earned a big-time FCS roster spot from up-and-coming St. Thomas. Also a stud wrestler ranked #1 in 145AAA, no one way tougher, more competitive, and more productive out of the wide receiver position in 2022, despite Anoka’s youth and struggles in the W category. Now, he can head to St. Paul and the Tommies as the first-ever Larry Fitzgerald Award winner for MN’s WR of the Year. Congratulations, Eli!
Eli Paulson (Anoka) Senior. Committed to St. Thomas
(Rochester Mayo) Junior.
Sam Musungu (Andover) Senior. Committed to Cornell
(Coon Rapids) Junior.
(Holy Angels) Senior.
(Fillmore Central) Senior.
Adam Poncelet (Goodhue) Senior. Committed to North Dakota
Jamison Reed (Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa) Senior.
Carter Todd (La Crescent-Hokah) Senior. Committed to Winona State
Mason Dalluge (Ottertail Central) Junior.
Frank Ragnow Award for MN’s OL of the Year inaugural Winner:(Prior Lake) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
In a loaded crop of 2023 maulers from our Great State of Minnesota, one players recruitment, high school journey, and future stands out amongst all others. This was a very tough pick, as Osseo’sis just scratching his surface after finishing only his fourth season of football and even less at the OL position, but after watching Prior Lake’s lead block and run far past the LOS downfield to take out DBs is something too hard to get out of my head. Beginning his career as a young Laker measuring in at 5’8, 225 pounds, Johnson has grown into a 6’6, 305 lber. capable of moving more like a prep LB who is heading to the B1G as an offensive tackle, a testament to his nimbleness and body control. With our state’s history of producing NFL-caliber offensive lineman and the established professional veteran this award is named after, Johnson’s too good to pass up. Now, he’s the winner of the inaugural Frank Ragnow Award for MN’s OL of the Year. Congratulations, Greg!
(Kasson-Mantorville) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
(Osseo) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
(Prior Lake) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
(Champlin Park) Senior. Committed to Northern Iowa
(Minnetonka) Senior. Committed to North Dakota State
Oyintare Porbeni (Stillwater) Senior. Committed to Princeton
(Belle Plaine) Senior. Committed to Augustana
Beau Allen Award for MN’s DL of the Year inaugural Winner:(Cooper) Senior. Committed to LSU
Defensive line and tight end were already mastered by the state’s #1 recruit coming into 2022, so Cooper’sgave LB a try and ended up playing at a top-tier level. So good in fact, that he almost was named in the LB of the Year semifinal list, but with defensive line being his natural position and the one he’ll play in college, it just gave him a leg up on his fellow DL semifinalists. Scary athletic at 6’4, 245+ pounds, Howard was the recipient of one of the hottest recruitments in the state’s history and year after year continued to grow, develop, improve, and live up to the hype. His combination of strength, explosiveness, twitch, and speed made him a matchup nightmare for any blocker in the state, and there’s a reason (or many) why blue-blood, helmet schools made the irregular trip to MN to recruit the young man. He’s a special one, and will bring great tidings and representation to our great state down in SEC country. In addition to his dozens of other awards, Howard is now the inaugural winner of the Beau Allen Award for MN’s defensive lineman of 2022. Congrats, Jaxon!
(Robbinsdale Cooper) Senior. Committed to LSU
(Minneapolis North) Senior. Committed to South Dakota
(Prior Lake) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
Kaden Vig (Kittson County Central) Senior. Committed to North Dakota
(Rochester Mayo) Senior.
(Rosemount) Senior. Committed to Arizona State (track and field)
(Eagan) Senior. Committed to North Dakota State
(Eden Prairie) Senior. Committed to Kansas State
(Stillwater) Senior. Committed to Air Force
Jack Lachmiller (Elk River) Senior.
James Laurinaitis Award for MN’s LB of the Year inaugural Winner:(Rosemount) Senior. Committed to Iowa State
Already known around the state for his prowess as a thumper,elevated his play and was the lynchpin and tone-setter of 6A giant-slayer, state championship appearing Rosemount and their fantastic defense. We at PRzMN weren’t the only ones to notice, as Gilbertson’s high level of play earned him a major P5 opportunity in the form of an Iowa State Cyclone PWO, which he happily accepted soon after receiving it. Despite a diverse group of talented Metro and Outstate LBs, none of whom were lacking in size, Gilbertson’s hard-hitting style of play, leadership, experience, and impact on his team’s success against the best competition in the state combined to be too much to overcome for his fellow semifinalists. Now, before he heads to Ames, he’s the first winner of the James Laurinaitis Award for Minnesota’s Linebacker of the Year. It’s been fun to watch. Congratulations, Kade!
(Simley) Senior. Committed to Minnesota (wrestling)
(Rosemount) Senior. Committed to Iowa State
(Hutchinson) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
(Mankato West) Senior. Committed to UMD
(Pequot Lakes) Senior.
Caleb Vancura (Jackson County Central) Senior.
(Maple Grove) Senior.
(Lakeville South) Senior. Committed to North Dakota
(Lester Prairie) Senior.
Amani Hooker Award for MN’s DB of the Year inaugural Winner: Garrison Monroe (Shakopee) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
Monroe’s offensive output and versatility are a testament to his ability and talent as a DB, his future collegiate position in Dinkytown. No one in the state has more range as a defender than the Shakopee senior, who can enforce the run and the pass equally as easy and effectively. This was one of the toughest positions to pick a winner for, and despite the stiff competition, Garrison Monroe dynamic skillset and overall athleticism were in their own tier in 2022. The Gophers may have landed one of the most underappreciated defensive backs in the entire Midwest for the class of 2023, who can now also say he’s the inaugural winner of the Amani Hooker Award for MN’s DB of the Year. Congratulations, Garrison!
(St. Thomas Academy) Senior.
(Bloomington Kennedy) Senior.
Garrison Monroe (Shakopee) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
(Lakeville South) Senior. Committed to UMD
(Eden Prairie) Senior. Committed to Air Force
(Maple Grove) Senior. Committed to Minnesota
(Edina) Senior. Committed to St. Thomas