To get a sense of what sports mean to Big Lake’s Tanner Teige, consider his summer schedule.
There was daily weight training for football at the crack of dawn, followed by basketball practice, and Legion Post 147 baseball games in the evening. His weekends included AAU basketball tournaments, football camps and a weekly 7-on-7 passing league.
That busy regimen prepared the Hornets’ senior for the three-sport success he’s achieved. He’s been a varsity starter in all three sports since his sophomore year, but he’ll focus on only football in college after a noteworthy career as both a running back and receiver.
“I have played three sports my whole life, and I could never imagine what my life would have been like if it wasn’t that way,” Teige said via email.
Teige earned multiple postseason honors this fall, among them an Associated Press All-State second team selection, the North Central White subdistrict MVP and a 2016 Mr. Football finalist. He led Big Lake offensively with 1,730 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns last fall, which included a four-week stretch with more than 200 yards and two touchdowns in each contest.
His performance was a big reason why the Hornets earned their first winning season since 2010 and second section championship berth in school history.
Teige is being recruited by Division II, NAIA and Division III schools across the upper Midwest. He recently received a scholarship offer from St. Cloud State and said he’s also received “a few offers from some NAIA schools throughout” his recruitment.
Teige said other schools in close contact with him were MSU-Moorhead and Minnesota-Duluth from the NSIC, along with St. John’s, St. Thomas and Gustavus Adolphus from the MIAC.
“I narrowed my choices down to just a few schools and plan to decide in the upcoming weeks,” Teige said. “I really don’t have a front runner right now, but there are definitely a few favorites.”
Teige’s 5-foot-8, 150-pound stature will probably force him to become a full-time slot receiver in college, which is how began his varsity career as a sophomore, leading the team with 38 receptions. He continued to be a receiving threat out of the backfield the past two seasons and caught 31 passes for 406 yards and four touchdowns as a senior.
It’s that versatility Hornets coach Nick Keenan said was Teige’s best on-field attribute. He also said his toughness was a trait which should excite potential college programs.
“Tanner didn't miss a game or a play in his three years playing varsity football,” Keenan said via email. “He had around 600 touches when you calculate rushing, receiving, kick returning and playing quarterback.”
Teige said he wants to play at the highest level possible without sacrificing the entire college experience. Academically, he’s currently undecided about a major, but is considering a future career as a teacher and coach, or possibly an athletic director.
Keenan said he believe Teige will find success on whatever athletic and professional path he chooses.
“He is young man of high character and he works hard at everything he is involved in,” Keenan said.