Posted On: 05/17/20 11:55 PM
Last season I was fortunate enough to represent Prepredzone.com to cover the Chaska Hawks vs. St. Thomas Academy Cadets heavyweight 5A match-up in one of the last games of the 2019 regular season. On the drive to the game at Chaska HS I remember thinking to myself that I was excited to see the Hawks gigantic (literally and figuratively) senior class and the strengths of the playmakers within it. Both teams were undefeated at the time, but the Cadets were beat-up and hadn't won a game by less than 14 points all season, so without a true challenge up until that point I don't think they were mentally ready for Chaska. In what eventually became a 20-0
Last season I was fortunate enough to represent Prepredzone.com to cover the Chaska Hawks vs. St. Thomas Academy Cadets heavyweight 5A match-up in one of the last games of the 2019 regular season. On the drive to the game at Chaska HS I remember thinking to myself that I was excited to see the Hawks gigantic (literally and figuratively) senior class and the strengths of the playmakers within it. Both teams were undefeated at the time, but the Cadets were beat-up and hadn't won a game by less than 14 points all season, so without a true challenge up until that point I don't think they were mentally ready for Chaska. In what eventually became a 20-0 Hawks victory, there was one player who kept catching my eye for the eventual MN 5A state championship offense. That player: Nic Snuggerud, played both WR spots, helped run the ball, returned punts and kicks, and even kicked extra points and field goals for Chaska. What stood out to me first and foremost was his effortless and natural ability as a receiver, as Snuggerud had game-changing speed that made him a true deep-threat but who also had no problem getting open and creating separation on a variety of routes the Hawks offense used. At 5'11, 175 lbs., Nic also has great hands, shiftiness, and can high point the football. He's a really fun one to watch, and his skill-set as a WR make for a really great junior highlight tape where I also learned he was 40/41 on extra points and made FGs from 52, 46, and 42 yards as Chaska's kicker. His athleticism and junior year success earned him visits to North Dakota State and South Dakota State, but I feel like Snuggerud is one of those prospects who has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 various impacts on the recruiting scene, and for some reason the defending 5A state champions' most dangerous offensive weapons only holds one offer through this point in May. Although Snuggerud has already done a recruiting report, it is for this reason of lacking more scholarship offers that Prepredzone.com has decided to publish this special "run-it-back" recruiting report for Snuggerud just to make sure the Chaska prospect is being overlooked or has fallen through the cracks. Check out what Nic has to say about his career thus far for the Hawks, the state championship 2019 season, his versatility on the football field, his recruitment status, and more. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy!
PrepRedzone: Hello and thank you for your time, Nic. Please begin by telling us a little bit about yourself, when you began playing football and what you like about the game, and last years stats!
Snuggerud: "I’m from Chaska, Minnesota which is where I currently play football. I started playing football in 3rd grade when tackle football was available. I had always wanted to play when I was younger so I was super excited to be able to actually go out and play. I actually played for Chanhassen growing up as a kid which is Chaska’s rival so I got to play with a lot of the guys I am now playing against which was fun. I like football so much because it’s such a competitive sport. If your not going out there every single practice and every single game giving it your all then your not going to be a winner. At the WR position specifically I love the competitiveness of having to beat the man in front of you every single play and knowing that your going to make the game miserable for the guys guarding you. Im currently 5’11 175 pounds and I do not have any times or maxes yet and with camps being cancelled hopefully I can figure out a way to get those. Last year I had 19 carries for 104 yards, 27 catches for 544 yards and 4 TD, 13 PR for 120 yards, and finally I was only kicked to 4 times on KR but I had 115 yards total on those 4 returns."
PrepRedzone: How was Chaska's 2018 season as well as Chaska's? What were some highlights and lowlights and what did you learn from the season?
Snuggerud: "So As a sophomore I didn’t play the first game on varsity but I was told to always be ready. It wasn’t until week 3 where we had an injury in practice which then I was told I was going to be starting that game. The game was vs Chanhassen which is a huge game and a really big game to be your first start. I hadn’t touched the ball all game until finally we were down 4 with 45 seconds left and the possession before I was wide open on a seam route. So coach decided to run the same exact play again. Down 4 on our own 26 with 45 seconds left in the game we ran the same play and I was open again. I made the defender miss and ended up scoring the help win the team the game. That is forsure still one of the best moments of my high school career so far. After that game I ended up starting every game for the rest of the year and even returned kicks. The season was pretty mediocre for me I had some big plays and catches but nothing to special. We ended up going on a roll in playoffs though and making it to the state tournament where we lost to owatonna which was forsure the low of the year right there. We learned that our team needs to come back stronger and faster next year. Personally I was told that I needed to be ready for a little bigger role and needed to make more of those big plays to help our team win."
PrepRedzone: What were your expectations like going into the 2019 season? How had you guys built on last year and what did you do individually to better your game in the offseason? Also, what do you like about the Chaska program?
Snuggerud: "Going into 2019 I had high expectations for both the team and myself. I wanted to win state that’s it. The individual awards might come with that but the team was first and winning state was the goal. Anything I could do to help the team win was all that was on my mind and that is what I worked super hard for. I think that’s why we did so good is because everyone on the team had that mindset that it wasn’t about themselves it was about the team. Our team built on the season before by just getting stronger and faster. We returned a lot of good players so we knew we just needed to add some weight and speed. Personally I worked a lot on gaining weight but also on conditioning. I didn’t know how much I would play or if I would play both ways so I just prepared as if I was going to be playing the whole game because you never know with injuries and stuff on what could happen. The best thing about chaska is how we emphasize family. Everyone on the team would do anything for the guy next to them which is why we are so successful. That and we have the best coaching staff in the state. Those coaches sacrifice so much for us and are always watching film and figuring out ways to help our team succeed."
PrepRedzone: You are ranked as the #32 overall recruit for the c/o 2021 and a top-5 receiver..is it weird being in this position as you are highly regarded and distinguished but are watching a lot of other guys get offered? What have you been working on to improve yourself as a prospect? Also, what position do you see yourself playing in the future?
Snuggerud: "Knowing I only have one offer to Bemidji which I am super blessed and thankful to even have. But seeing guys I know I am better then get offers from lots of schools I think it just puts a chip on my shoulder. I think it’s a great thing for me it just gives me the mentality that - "good, keep offering those other guys and I’ll show you in fall why you were wrong for that." It just keeps me working super hard everyday. What I’m working on specifically is the crispness of my route running. I have the burst and the speed but I need to get my route running down to a point which I have been working super hard on. Making every single step in my routes count and breaking down the defender. You know I don’t know exactly what I want to play in the future position wise. I have been working hard on kicking as well and if anything super big opens up for that then I am totally open for that. I just work hard at every aspect of my game because you never know what position you could be playing in the future."
PrepRedzone: You played a ton of positions for Chaska this past year including WR, RB, PR, KR, and even a little defense, what's your favorite position to play and what can you say about your versatility as an athlete? Is it difficult playing multiple positions? What do you want to play in college?
Snuggerud: "My favorite position is WR because that’s when I get to use the open field and use my speed. Honestly though all the positions are so fun even kicking for me is fun it just gives me another way to help the team. I think I am very versatile and can be put in many positions on the field. I played some RB, returned kicks and punts and I did even play some defense last year. Whenever we played against passing defenses there was a defensive set where I went in and played some slot corner. The only hard thing about playing multiple positions is remembering some of the defensive plays for me that was it. I think actually playing wasn’t difficult because I prepare myself to play every position possible I don’t just stop working out after I am done doing my WR drills I do a lot of other drills. I haven’t decided exactly what I want to play in college, whatever opportunity is provided and however I can help that team is what I would play."
PrepRedzone: Give us a little run down on Chaska's state championship season last fall. What were some of the big regular season games? I got to see you guys play against STA which must have been a fun game..what were some other hard-fought wins that let you guys know you had something special going? How was your regular season personally?
Snuggerud: "So for big games I’ll start with armstrong which was our first big test. Armstrong was exactly what we needed in our season. It was a big tough team that showed us we weren’t as good as we though and we needed to keep working hard every week to get better. Armstrong really just dominated us in every aspect of the game which helped us a lot as a team. After that the other big game was STA forsure. That is when I think we showed the state what we were all about and that we were a team to look out for. I think they came in thinking it was going to be easy because we came right out and punched them in the mouth. They barely could move the ball on offense and we shut them out to 0 which had to be the first time in a while a team did that to them. We also scored 20 on them which that team hadn’t let up much points the whole year. That was the big eye opener game where we are like if we play like that no one can beat us. Personally I didn’t have as good of a regular season as I wanted but I knew I still had time to step it up in playoffs which I ended up doing."
PrepRedzone: How about sections and state?Who did y'all play and how did they go? And how did the state title game against STA differ from the first game?
Snuggerud: "First we had to start off with Waconia who we beat the year before when they were the #1 undefeated team. Now we were the #1 team hosting them so they certainly wanted revenge. We weren’t ready to go out though as we destroyed them and didn’t let them come close once. Then we played Mankato-West to go to state who we upset last year so they wanted revenge too. We ended up beating them in a pretty close but not to close game. That brought us to state where we played Mahtomedi and won. I had one of my best games with over 100 receiving yards and a TD. Following that we played at US Bank in the state semi-finals. That first game in US Bank was crazy under the lights because it was a lot different scenery then what we were used to. We ended up winning pretty easily and I had the best game of my season for sure with again over 100 yards and a TD but also I hit a 52 yard field goal that game. That brought us to the state championship where we played STA again. They were talking about how last time they had injuries and we got lucky and all that so we were ready to prove them wrong. It was pretty crazy knowing that we were in a state championship game but it was also the most fun game of my life so far. STA changed there game plan by bringing more pressure on defense so we couldn’t throw deep routes and couldn’t run. We really didn’t play very good that game offensively but our defense stepped up by only allowing 7 points all game. Then we had that game winning drive where we stepped up right when we needed to. I had a fourth down conversion catch and a fourth down conversion pass interference call to help us move the ball. It was just pretty crazy realizing we had won a state championship and honestly it still hasn’t even sunk in that we did that but now it’s time to move onto next year and get another one."
PrepRedzone: How about recruiting? What are some college teams you're interested in and what are you hearing about from teams in terms of your performance and abilities as a prospect? What are you looking for in a college as well?
Snuggerud: "I’m not sure exactly what colleges I’m interested in but I know the general idea of where I would want to go. Somewhere that has stuff to do so you aren’t stuck in your dorm and somewhere where there’s other good sports teams to go watch as well. Colleges have told me they love my speed and big play ability and the way I am able to adjust to the ball in the air. Not only that but how I am able to play a lot of positions on the field and help teams in many ways."
PrepRedzone: Lastly, what do you think you can add to a college program and what do you do well as a football player?
Snuggerud: "What I am going to give a college is a hard working kid who is extremely competitive and is going to want to win at all costs. As a player I can play a ton of positions at a high level. Specifically at WR I am a big play guy that can step up in huge moments. My run after catch ability is something that I think is a huge strength that not many kids have. I also can adjust to balls in the air very well and make very difficult catches using that strength. I use my speed to burst quickly out of sharp cutting routes. And finally, I am someone that even on run plays runs the corner off and tries to beat the press like I am running a route to learn exactly how I can break the guy down so when it is time to actually throw the ball I am ready. For kicking I’d say I am a very accurate kicker who can hit long field goals as shown in my film. I don’t crack under pressure and stay super calm at all times. I also am very good at creating turnovers on kickoffs as I created a ton of those this past season."
Give his tape a watch, and if you're a coach hit him up. Snuggerud's senior year is going to prove everyone that slept on him wrong! Soar Hawks!