Eagan High School, a suburban school in the Twin Cities, produced one of key players for Saturday's Wild Card playoff game between the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks.
Zach Zenner, a former Mr. Football finalist at Eagan and an All-American at South Dakota State, has taken over the primary running back for the Lions after injuries ended the season for Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah. Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett has taken notice.
“I think the running back, man, he’s — there’s not many white running backs in the NFL but he has to be the best right now,” Bennett said, via the Detroit Free Press. Bennett continued his quote, raving about Zenner's three straight 2,000-yard seasons in college, describing him as a player with "amazing talent."
That's high praise from one of the better defensive linemen in the NFL.
As for being defined as a white running back, Zenner doesn't care.
"You know, everyone's entitled to their opinion and it sounds like he said some pretty nice stuff, so I'm appreciative of that and I think he's a really good player and we've got to be ready to face him," Zenner said Wednesday, according to ESPN.
Zenner has helped Detroit's running game pop a little bit since Christmas. He scored two touchdowns in a loss to Dallas and followed that up with a Week 17 rushing touchdown and 69 yards against the Packers.
Zenner is now staring at a chance to make a name for himself. According to ESPN, Lions rank 26th in rushing efficiency and the Seahawks rank second against the run. Needless to say, the former Eagan Wildcat has his work cut out for him Saturday.