The 2009 Minnesota high school football season is complete. Here is a look at some recent news and notes and some updates and statistics on players from across the state of Minnesota.
Rosemount’s Zach Vraa named Mr. Football
The guy who did a little bit of everything for his team came away with the honor as the best football player for the 2009 season. Zach Vraa, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver and return specialist, was Named Mr. Football at a banquet last week. Vraa was among 10 seniors who were finalists for the award. Vraa caught 39 passes for 783 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
Rosemount, competing in the Lake Conference, finished the season 7-4. Vraa, who is also a standout basketball and track athlete at Rosemount, averaged 15 yards per punt return and 22.7 on kickoff returns. In his last two years at Rosemount he hauled in 113 passes for 1,985 yards and 25 touchdowns. He was a game-changer on the field, and someone coaches had to devise their defensive game plan around. Vraa is being recruited by North Dakota and North Dakota State heavily and carries a 3.76 GPA.
The other finalists for the award were: Beau Allen, Minnetonka (NG/FB), Joel Bauman, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunberg (RB/LB), Jacob Brusehaver, Hutchinson (RB/LB), John Crockett, Totino-Grace (RB), Seantrel Henderson, Cretin-Derham Hall (OL/DL), Ben Henson, Buffalo (OT/NG), Brandon Marquardt, Champlin Park (RB), Ryan Tri, Eden Valley-Watkins, (WR/CB/Return specialist), Zach Zenner, Eagan (multiple positions).
Seantrel Henderson watch
It's been a busy time for Seantrel Henderson, the nation's top high school football recruit. In addition to being nominated for Mr. Football and helping Cretin-Derham Hall win the 5A state championship, Henderson has been hitting the recruiting trail, and preparing for Feb. 3, when he plans to announce his college choice. Henderson was at USC last weekend, and will be at Florida this weekend. He has also been to Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Miami. He also took a visit to Iowa with teammate Mark Alt, who is also being recruited by the Hawkeyes.
Where will the most coveted player in the nation end up? Only time will tell.
Speaking of Alt
Alt is well known for his prowess as a hockey player. In fact, he committed to Don Lucia and the University of Minnesota hockey team during his sophomore season. However, with his success on the field this year, he has garnered much more attention as a DI football prospect than he probably even imagined. Alt is being recruited by Iowa and Stanford, among other teams. Alt passed for 1,956 yards and 26 touchdowns this season, despite missing three games with a broken collarbone.
He ranks fourth on the all-time career passing list at Cretin, with 4,343 yards and 45 touchdowns. Being fourth on a school's all-time passing list may not seem impressive, but when you consider the person ranked second on that list is American League MVP Joe Mauer, it's a pretty good list. Former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Chris Weinke is fifth in career yardage.
Minnesota Gophers recruits report
Lamonte Edwards of Woodbury High is headed to the University of Minnesota. Edwards ran for 1,053 yards and 13 touchdowns in only seven games this season. He played defensive back as well, and had 45 tackles and four forced fumbles.
While Cretin's Henderson gets all the publicity when it comes to state offensive lineman, another pretty good one recently finished his career at Irondale. Jimmy Gjere is 6-foot-8, 290 pounds and was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Most interesting stat about the big man this year? He threw for two touchdown passes. No worries Gophers fans, his future is on the O-line.
Tommy Olson of Mathomedi is only a junior, but Gophers fans will be pleased with this powerful player when he gets to campus. Olson helped lead Mahtomedi to the 4AAAA section championship and at 6-4, 285 pounds, is a force on the line on both sides of the ball.
Where will he end up?
John Crockett emerged like no other player in the state this season. The Totino-Grace senior is one of the fastest players in the state and rushed for 1,802 yards and added almost another 500 in receiving. He scored a whopping 39 touchdowns and led Totino Grace to the 4A state title. Minnesota is reportedly interested in Crockett, as are many other Division I and DII teams.
Other news and notes
Wayzata's A.J. Tarpley is headed to Stanford. Tarpley had 80 tackles, two interceptions and caught four touchdown passes. He was considered by many the top defensive player in the state and helped lead Wayzata to the 2008 state title... Billy Turner of Mounds View has committed to North Dakota State. The 6-5, 280-pounder is strong and agile for his size. He was a three-year starter at Mounds View and never missed a game.