Posted On: 04/29/21 4:06 PM

With the NFL Draft just hours away, I thought it would be fun to look back at a guy whose name is likely to be called very early tonight. Originally posted in April of 2017.

His varsity career could not have gotten off to a worse start. In 2015 the Marshall Tigers were rolling through the regular season and were 7-0 heading into their final regular season game. During the game, the Tigers’ starting quarterback went down with a season-ending injury. The next man up at quarterback was sophomore Trey Lance Trey Lance QB Marshall | 2018 State MN . Until then he had only played on the junior varsity and in a mop-up role during some of their lop-sided wins.

“I threw an interception to lose that game. We ended up going 7-1 in the regular season,” Lance recalled. “It was hard to come back from that, but the juniors and seniors – the confidence they gave me – I was always supported.”

Lance was able to help guide his team to the state quarterfinals that year. This past season the Tigers were able to do one better.

“It was awesome. We obviously didn’t end up the way we wanted, but we lost (in the state semi-finals) to the team that won the state championship, and we thought we had a good shot at beating them throughout the game.’

On offense, Lance felt they were able to spread the ball around, take advantage of their team speed and their ability to run or pass. On defense, Lance felt they were able to dominate other teams physically and outwork them.

Lance was no longer a wide-eyed rookie.

“I felt I had a good season. I can do a lot with the ball,” Lance said. “I feel like I am a playmaker. I know I can throw the ball. I have a ton to work on, but I feel like I am prepared.”

This winter he was prepared to make another state tournament run – this time with the basketball team.

“I started, and we got third in the state,” NFN’s second-ranked junior.” It was an exciting year. I played point guard, but also played the two and the three. Our senior class was really talented. Every one of the seniors on the basketball team is going on to play college athletics – three basketball players and four football players.”

Lance is playing AAU basketball and is working out, and he also was just at The Opening in Chicago.

“I felt like I competed well. We had just finished basketball, so I only had a week to train. I thought I competed well. It was an awesome experience just to see where I am at and compete with some of the top guys in the Midwest.”

This spring Lance is focusing on improving his footwork.

“I am fine throwing on the run, but movement in the pocket is what I am focused on this year.”

This year colleges are already taking a hard look at the junior.

“Recruiting has been an exciting process; maybe stressful at times but I am blessed to have had the opportunity to visit these schools and come to my school and talk to me,” Lance said.

Lance has visited Iowa, Iowa State, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Northern Iowa. There are more schools coming to talk to him in a couple of weeks.

Most of the schools are recruiting him as a quarterback, but Minnesota sees him as a defensive back – before an injury Lance started at safety as well – or receiver.

Playing defensive back has helped Lance at quarterback.

“It helps me recognize things quicker,” Lance said, “and pick up on things pre-snap.”

His career got off to a rocky start, but since that first interception, Lance has recognized things on the football field much quicker than as a green rookie. After a successful junior campaign, colleges are recognizing him too.

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