8 Minnesota high school football stars to know about as the season kicks off this week

Some of these guys have almost every big college program in the country calling them.

Minnesota's high school football season kicked off with a handful of "Zero Week" games last week, but it ramps up in full force for every school Thursday or Friday this week. 

If you're looking for some of the best players in the state, consider going to one of these five games. These aren't necessarily the best of the best in Minnesota – this is just a fun story looking at some of the best players – but they'll be super fun to watch all season. 

1. Academy Force at SMB Wolfpack (Friday)

Yeah, we'd never heard of Academy Force until just now either. That's because it's the first year of a consolidated football partnership between St. Croix Preparatory Academy, New Life Academy, and Mounds Park Academy. And they're going to have their hands full against SMB and quarterback Jalen Suggs, who won't graduate until 2020. 

And yes, Suggs is related to Baltimore Ravens star linebacker Terrell Suggs. 

In basketball, Suggs led Team USA's Under-16 national team to the title at the FIBA Americas tournament in Argentina, and he already has scholarship offers from the Gophers, Arizona State, Iowa State, Marquette, Baylor, UNLV and more. 

2. Burnsville at Lakeville North (Thursday)

This is a decent rivalry game but even more appealing because Lakeville North has a couple of road graders on its offensive line. Go watch this one and keep an eye on Nathan Boe (6'4'', 250 lbs) and Bryce Benhart (6'7'', 285 lbs). Boe is already committed to the Gophers and Benhart could be headed to Fleck Country in 2019. Benhart also has offers from Wisconsin and UCLA. 

You'll also get a good look at Burnsville's stud athlete, Tre Thomas. 

3. Eastview at Eden Prairie (Thursday)

Of course, the Eden Prairie Eagles are going to be awesome again. Benny Sapp III, the son of ex-Vikings cornerback Benny Sapp, is committed to the Gophers and the top-ranked player in Minnesota in the class of 2018.

Cole Kramer will be fun to watch at quarterback, too. Head coach Mike Grant was raving about Kramer in the Eden Prairie News, and Scout.com recently said Kramer's summer was so good that he's quickly rising up the 2019 charts

By the way, Eden Prairie and Lakeville North meet in Week 2. That's going to be awesome. 

4. Lakeville South at Edina (Thursday)

It'll be hard to find a player who will be watched by more big schools than Edina's 6'6'', 290-pound junior tackle Quinn Carroll. He already has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech and pretty much every other school in the country.

Here he is just hanging out with Nick Saban.

Look at what he did to all these defenders last season. Oh muh gawd. 

5. St. Cloud Tech at St. Cloud Apollo (Friday)

Tech is a team to watch out of central Minnesota as they bring back the majority of a roster that went 9-1 and lost to eventual state champion St. Michael-Albertville in the section semifinals. 

According to the St. Cloud Times, Tech is led by NDSU recruit James Kaczor, who's part of a secondary that returns all four starters, all of whom will likely play college football. They also have tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford, a Gophers recruit who's listed as the fifth-best recruit in the state by 247 Sports. 

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