MARSHALL, MN - The spotlight of the National Football League is about to find southwest Minnesota.
Thursday is set to be one of the biggest days that has ever happened to Marshall, Minnesota. Trey Lance is about to put the town of 14,000 on the national sports map.
"People are buzzing about it." said longtime Marshall High School football coach Terry Bahlmann. "We've got Trey day planned Thursday, Trey trivia planned throughout the week here at the high school. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Bahlmann got to see the fun up close with Lance. Lance took over as quarterback during his sophomore year, but it was in 2016 when he left his imprint as he led the Tigers to the 2016 4A state semifinals. Lance was sensational in the state semifinals, throwing for 275 yards and three touchdowns against the eventual champions from Benilde- St.Margaret's.
That was Lance's wake-up call to the state of what potential he had. He was labeled in some recruiting circles as the number one recruit in the state of Minnesota. In May of 2017, Lance verbally committed to North Dakota State. The rest as they say, is history.
"Trey's doing the same thing in high school he did with the Bison. He had that kind of skill set and it obviously grew, it developed more. We were sort of baffled at the time, why others didn't like him. What it would take to be a Power 5 quarterback if Trey Lance didn't work out." Bahlmann said.
It all seems a bit overwhelming for those closest to Lance, who have been in the national spotlight since October.
"ESPN came to our house a few weeks before that fall game this year." said Bryce Lance, Trey's younger brother. "It then kind of hit me that Trey was about to blow up here soon. ESPN taking over our kitchen and asking us questions, seeing myself on ESPN. But it's been a blast."
Bahlmann adds: "Three years ago he's in the weight room doing the same thing, cow pushes on the gym floor just like everyone else. Three years later, he's going to the NFL Draft and one of the top players in the nation. That's back to that surreal feeling, it's hard to believe it's three years ago but a lot has happened and it's just fun to watch Trey."
The first round of the NFL Draft begins Thursday at 7 in Cleveland, Ohio.