While the Vikings-Titans preseason game Thursday night featured a pair of Caledonia High School graduates – Vikings wide receiver Isaac Fruechte and Titans defensive lineman Karl Klug – a couple of other former Minnesota prep stars were making names for themselves in the NFC North.
Detroit Lions running back Zach Zenner, formerly of Eagan High School and South Dakota State University, scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter for the second week in a row. He's hopeful of becoming one of the few players who go undrafted only to make a team's final 53-man roster.
The case he's made is solid, having finished as the NFL's leading preseason rusher with 183 yards on 35 carries. Pro Football Talk says Zenner is "for real" and has proved that he can make it in the NFL.
It was just a handful of years ago that John Crockett scored five touchdowns in the state championship game to lift Totino-Grace over Sartell-St. Stephen. After three years and three national championships at North Dakota State University, Crockett is trying to catch on with the Green Bay Packers.
He helped his cause with a 15-yard touchdown run against the Saints Thursday night, capped off with a "Lambeau Leap."
Fruechte graduated from Caledonia in 2010, Klug in 2006. According to WKBT, the town of fewer than 3,000 people celebrated its two NFL players during the Vikings-Titans game.
Klug's father, Dan, was among those in the community watching in Caledonia.
"These two guys here, Isaac and Karl, they turned into everybody's boys now. These are Caledonia boys, and they are Coulee Region boys. They are southeast Minnesota boys," Dan Klug told WKBT. "Everybody takes ownership and it's fun. They're ours."
The next 24 hours will be gut-wrenching for these players as NFL teams have to cut rosters to 53 players by Saturday afternoon.