Posted On: 08/3/19 1:04 AM
As your premier Minnesota prep football coverage network, Northstar Football News has been your comprehensive one-stop for all things Minnesota high school football since 2013. While covering the football players from the Land of 10,000 Lakes is our bread and butter when they're in high school, what happens when those same preps go off to play college ball? In this second edition of "Flashing Forward" Northstar Football News will be checking back in on former Minnesota preps we covered that are now wearing the blue and yellow of the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits. The state of Minnesota has long been fertile recruiting territory for the Jackrabbits, with former Maple Grove WR Jake Wieneke (now in the CFL) and Simley + NIU transfer Cody Hazelett most recently finding finding gridiron success in Brookings. All of the 20 MN preps currently on the Jackrabbits' 2019 roster are looking to find that same success this upcoming season, and we will give you an update on how some of them are poised to entering fall camp. While the players will differ in size, age, position, and even scholarship, all have once worked their hardest trying to bring glory
As your premier Minnesota prep football coverage network, Northstar Football News has been your comprehensive one-stop for all things Minnesota high school football since 2013. While covering the football players from the Land of 10,000 Lakes is our bread and butter when they're in high school, what happens when those same preps go off to play college ball? In this second edition of "Flashing Forward" Northstar Football News will be checking back in on former Minnesota preps we covered that are now wearing the blue and yellow of the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits. The state of Minnesota has long been fertile recruiting territory for the Jackrabbits, with former Maple Grove WR Jake Wieneke (now in the CFL) and Simley + NIU transfer Cody Hazelett most recently finding finding gridiron success in Brookings. All of the 20 MN preps currently on the Jackrabbits' 2019 roster are looking to find that same success this upcoming season, and we will give you an update on how some of them are poised to entering fall camp. While the players will differ in size, age, position, and even scholarship, all have once worked their hardest trying to bring glory to Minnesota prep football and deserve to have their hard work brought to light.
Malik Lofton 5'10, 190 lb. CB. Sophomore. Hopkins High School Class of 2017 #1
Credit: MN Football Hub
The former Hopkins Royal was a two-star rated prospect and the #19 ranked recruit in Minnesota in 2017 according to 24/7sports. The WR/CB in high school held offers from FCS universities Northern Iowa, Montana State, powerhouse North Dakota State, and FBS Wyoming before ultimately choosing the Jackrabbits along with teammate Deyon Campbell. He also was an All-Metro selection by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and has one of the craziest plays on a high school Hudl I have ever seen (watch the first play-http://www.hudl.com/v/2A3hFi). After tearing up the Metro as a Royal, Lofton is now looking to have his breakout season at SDSU. With stud CB Jordan Brown having moved onto the NFL, one cornerback position is completely wide-open, and with a rising senior and returning starter set to hold the other spot, Lofton will need to ball-out this camp if he wants to earn the starting job. The now sophomore recorded one PBU with 11 tackles last season to go along with one start, but with rising senior returning INT leader, and former Minnetonka prep Zy Mosley nowhere to be found on the roster, Lofton may have an easier road to the starting job than expected.
Senior Year Hudl: http://www.hudl.com/v/28RkAf
Michael Griffin II 6'0, 215 lb. S. Junior. Southwest Minnesota State transfer and Park High School '16 #6
Credit: Michael Griffin II Hudl
Although he did hold offers from North Dakota and UNI coming out of high school, the 37th ranked player in MN for 2016 according to 24/7Sports decided to accept a scholarship to NSIC and D2 competitor Southwest Minnesota State in Marshall, Minnesota. During his sophomore season in 2017, Griffin II started all 11 games while ranking second on the team with 85 tackles, adding seven PBU's, three FR's and one FF. The product of Cottage Grove believed in his talents so much that he decided to transfer up a division to SDSU in the spring semester of 2018. As of now, it seems to be a good decision. According to some SDSU sources, coaches have been raving about the safety during his redshirt transfer year. Named the squad's Special Teams Player of the Week five times during last season, while earning the Defensive Player of the Week twice, Griffin II sounds like he could be special for the Jackrabbits. With both safety positions an open competition coming into 2019, watch out for #6 in Brookings next year. Having already joined a long line of MN preps who have believed in their own talents and succeeded at D1's despite no scholarship, it seems like the sky is the limit for Griffin II.
Senior Year Hudl: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/2289070/5721d2f5dfe23b2d68b88628
Tolu Ogunrinde 6'1, 265 lb. DE. Junior. Park High School Class of 2016
Credit: 24/7 sports
2019 is going to be a big year for the former Park High School product. As one of the largest Minnesota prep running backs I've ever seen, it was not a surprise that the 42nd ranked prospect in MN for 2016 according to 24/7Sports was moved to the DL quickly into his career in Brookings. Ogunrinde recorded three sacks, four TFL's, and six tackles last year as primarily a "pass-rushing specialist" according to the SDSU roster page. With two returning seniors and another junior to compete with this year, Ogunrinde will need to put that powerful 265 lb. frame to good use and show that he can consistently russ the passer as well as play technique and gap assignment sound football in the run game. Having been slowed by injury a little in his career so far with the Jackrabbits, I believe that if he can stay healthy, 2019 could be the year #22 puts it all together and becomes a dominant force in the FCS. Look for him to get more snaps this year and earn at least a rotational role along SDSU's defensive front.
Senior Year Hudl: http://www.hudl.com/v/2ACumk
Deyon Campbell 5'9, 195 lb. WR. Sophomore. Hopkins High School Class of 2017 #24
Credit: MN Football Hub
The speedster, who was clocked in the high 4.4s for his 40 time in high school, has been working his butt off since he got to Brookings. The former two-star recruit had basically the same offer list as teammate Malik Lofton, and has had a chip on his shoulder and has been putting it to good use- having already broken the SDSU All-Time Back Squat, Bench Press, and 40-yard dash time for Wide Receivers. His 529 lb. back squat record I find particularly astounding, seeing as he broke a lot of these records his redshirt year, and I would be incredibly surprised if Campbell does not have a breakout year for the Jackrabbits, or at least make the starting rotation. Although they return four experienced upperclassmen, Campbell has worked hard and done well when given opportunities last year (five catches + two rushes for around 100 yards). It will take some hard work if the sophomore wants to make some plays, but the Minneapolis native has already shown that's not something that scares him.
Senior Year Hudl: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4228850/57e692137bddf874808be8d7
Payton Madison 6'3, 235 lb. FB. True Freshman. New London Spicer High School PWO '19 #47
Credit: West Central Tribune
The preferred walk-on from New London Spicer High School in Western Minnesota actually finds himself in a lot better of a position than many other first-year PWO's. The now fullback, who was selected as his subdistricts MVP and earned all-area accolades after averaging 8.8 yards per carry en route to 1,150 yards and 13 rushing TD's as a senior, will be behind two seniors and a redshirt freshman in the fullback depth chart, meaning a year of good ol' fashioned hard work gives Madison some good odds at cracking the starting lineup next year as a fullback. Keep an eye on him and his career in Brookings.
Senior Year Hudl: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/10149109/5bde7024688fda0cd4231db9
Aron Johnson 6'6, 290 lb. OL. Sophomore. Chisago Lakes High School Class of 2017 #71
Credit: Aron Johnson Hudl
The now sophomore has had a stellar career thus far for the Jackrabbits. After earning district most valuable Offensive Lineman during his senior year at Chisago Lakes, the three time all-district selection cracked the starting rotation as a redshirt freshman last year. Having started three games and seeing action in 11, Johnson looks to compete for a starting spot in a crowded offensive lineman room in Brookings. With five upperclassmen all wanting playing time, Johnson could utilize his versatility having played both tackle positions last year to set himself apart. Either way, make sure to look for #71 in the blue and yellow this coming fall. He will, and already has, made MN preps proud.
Senior Hudl: https://www.hudl.com/video/3/4334521/57cb80dfe97a845e9cf449e1
Kallan Hart 6'5, 260 lb. TE. Senior. Faribault High School Class of 2015 #83
Hart has himself cemented in the strongest position of any former MN prep on this list. The former Faribault Falcon has played in 27 games already for the Jackrabbits, and is the undisputed #1 TE this upcoming fall. Having recorded 11 receptions averaging 13.4 YPC last year, Hart is looking to add to these numbers and do whatever the team may ask of him for his senior year. The Southern Minnesota native has the athleticism, as he led his Faribault squad to a section championship and captained the basketball and T&F teams as well. He was an all-conference selection in football as well as track, and even won the section championship in the 110-meter high hurdles. #83 is going to get a lot of reps in 2019, make sure you catch some.
Senior Year Hudl: http://www.hudl.com/v/298RE5
Spencer Hildahl 6'3, 290 lb. DT. Senior. Montevideo High School Class of 2015 #96
Credit: Spencer Hildahl Hudl
In a similar situation as teammate Kal Hart, Hildahl finds himself as the lone senior of the defensive tackles. After starting 13 games in 2017 and three in 2018, the former prep from Montevideo is looking to make 2019 all his. Projected as the starter, keep an eye out for the former West Central Conference Most Valuable Lineman as he attempts to plug holes and divert double teams this upcoming season in Brookings.
Senior Year Hudl: http://www.hudl.com/video/3/1861366/5721eb6a0c5e681224c10f3a
Stay tuned as we next time head to Grand Forks, North Dakota and see which Minnesota preps are set to have big seasons with the Fighting Hawks.