There's a road map for football recruiters from big-time colleges that has emerged in the area. It's something that really hasn't been seen in these parts.
Three juniors getting looked at by big-time football colleges.
In Moorhead, is lineman Seth Anderson, who really began this recruiting madness when he tweeted that he received an offer from Les Miles and Kansas back in January.
Head 26 miles southeast to Barnesville, Minn., to see linebacker Hunter Zenzen, or head 42 miles northeast to Ada, Minn., to see lineman Mason Miller. Or do both. That's what most college coaches are doing.
Moorhead head coach Kevin Feeney played football at North Dakota State and has been coaching high school sports in the area since 1999. He's never seen anything like this.
"I do believe these three kids have helped each other, even though they don't even know each other and don't play each other," Feeney said. "For a school to be able to recruit and see three kids it makes it more intriguing for a bigger school to make the trip. Consistently it's always the triangle. They are always going to see all three.
"College coaches are asking me about the other two. The biggest question I get is, 'How do you get to Ada?'"
So here is a space for everything we know about the big three making up the triangle. It'll be changed as updates happen.
UPDATE: July 16
Barnesville will open the football season at Ada-Borup at 7 p.m. on Aug. 30. Iowa State commit Hunter Zenzen vs. North Dakota State Mason Miller. Barnesville will certainly be ranked in Class 2A and is a threat to win a state title and Ada-Borup should be ranked in Class 1A.
UPDATE: June 15
Moorhead's Seth Anderson is headed to NDSU. He said he wanted to stay close to home.
Excited to announce my commitment to North Dakota State University pic.twitter.com/vZx5pQwUJ6— Seth Anderson (@SethAnd16120029) June 15, 2019
UPDATE: June 11
Moorhead's Seth Anderson added an offer from the University of Northern Iowa.
Blessed to have received an offer from University of Northern Iowa pic.twitter.com/MrFCy3x4d5— Seth Anderson (@SethAnd16120029) June 11, 2019
UPDATE: May 29
Ada-Borup's Mason Miller has picked NDSU. Miller said his decision came down to NDSU and SDSU, as things cooled off with Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Staying close to home and studying agronomy was a big factor for Miller.
UPDATE: May 11
Moorhead's Seth Anderson added two offers.
New Mexico State.
UPDATE: May 1
No new offers for Moorhead's Seth Anderson. He has offers from Kansas, South Dakota State, North Dakota State, North Dakota, Wyoming and Buffalo. He's been in contact with Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Colorado State, Rice, Northern Illinois, Nebraska, Central Michigan, Northern Iowa, Princeton, Minnesota State-Mankato and Bemidji State.
Iowa State, Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa and Nebraska have asked him to visit. He doesn't have any of those set up yet, as he's waiting to see the interest before making plans.
As for Ada-Borup's Mason Miller, he's fresh off a visit to Iowa a couple weeks ago. As of right now, North Dakota State is his No. 1, but Iowa has really intrigued him. He may attend a camp at Iowa, but right now Minnesota and Iowa are No. 2 behind NDSU.
UPDATE: April 17
Barnesville's Hunter Zenzen verbally committed to Iowa State.
"I want to surround myself with people who are ready to prove something and (Iowa State head football coach Matt) Campbell and his staff are ready to do that," Zenzen said. "I truly believe Iowa State is a team to watch out for."
The Zenzens planned a trip to Florida about a year ago. Jamey, Hunter's dad, said with Hunter being a junior he felt they were losing time and wouldn't have a lot of opportunities for a vacation. They got into Florida on Wednesday with Hunter's family, Jamey's sister's family and Jamey's mom.
Hunter made his decision last weekend. The trip to Florida was basically a chance for him to get away from everything. Wednesday morning Hunter called and talked to three North Dakota State coaches individually. He had gained a very good relationship with them and it was tough to make those calls, but he felt he owed it to them. He also called each college that was continuing to show interest in him as well.
With the family sitting around the pool, Hunter called Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell to commit to Iowa State.
"I've never seen that kid smile like that when he told coach Campbell he was committed to play football at Iowa State," Jamey said.
Hunter and his family figured that would be it. He put out his tweet to announce his decision and they could go back to their vacation.
Nope. He was getting messages on Twitter and his phone didn't stop ringing. Media outlets from Ames, Des Moines, Minneapolis and Fargo were calling all day. He was on the phone most of the day with colleges and media, but he, his 15-year-old brother and Jamey were able to still get in a night hunt they planned. They left Orlando at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, met up with the outfitter at 8:30 p.m. and finished the hunt at 10:30 p.m. He and his brother both shot hogs Wednesday night.
And by the time they got back to the rental car to drive back to Orlando, Hunter was back on the phone with a WDAY sports reporter who shall remain nameless (Joel Sipper).
Jamey said Hunter, Kaden and he were just laughing at the whole day in the drive back to Orlando.
UPDATE: April 11
Mason Miller has said his top two as of now are North Dakota State and Minnesota. But he will visit Iowa in a couple weeks. He still isn't shutting the door on playing basketball at the next level, but it would appear he's close to doing so with just Bemidji State active in recruiting him for basketball.
Here's a story on Miller that was just published.
Seth Anderson - Moorhead
The 6-foot-4, 264-pound lineman has offers from Kansas, South Dakota State, North Dakota State, North Dakota, Wyoming and Buffalo. He's been in contact with Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Colorado State, Rice, Northern Illinois, Nebraska, Central Michigan, Northern Iowa, Princeton, Minnesota State-Mankato and Bemidji State.
Anderson played football at 180 pounds as a sophomore and began his junior season at 220 pounds. He played both seasons with an injured ulnar collateral ligament. He had Tommy John surgery in November, so next season will be his first fully healthy.
The story began when Feeney had a buddy who does college recruiting come say hello to Feeney in his classroom when Anderson was a sophomore and around 190 pounds. He shook his hand and told Feeney that he was going to be huge. Feeney began to ask around what the difference was between a Division II and Division I football player. Most told him the magic number is 250 pounds.
So Anderson got to work. When asked what they've been feeding him, Anderson's dad responded, "He eats everything!"
Feeney also got to work, sending his tape to Big Ten Conference and Big 12 Conference schools, explaining the video is of him when he was between 225 and 230 pounds, but he's grown. That sparked interest.
Anderson will play mostly guard on Moorhead's offensive line, while always playing some on the defensive line. Colleges have been all over the place as to what side of the line Anderson would fit. Anderson has not let on which he would prefer. He played defensive end, guard, tight end and long snapper last season for the Spuds, recording 75 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, three sacks, one fumble recovery and 17 pancake blocks in 10 games.
This weekend (April 5-7), Anderson is going back to SDSU and NDSU. He's got visits to Nebraska and Iowa State coming up. NIU is also trying to get him to come for a visit.
Other tidbit: He's got a 3.65 grade-point average.
Hunter Zenzen - Barnesville
The 6-3, 215-pound soon-to-be linebacker for the Trojans has started every game at defensive end since early into his freshman year. He's got offers from UND, South Dakota, Iowa State and NDSU. He's visited Minnesota, has invites to camps from Kansas State and Michigan State. He's already informed Iowa, UND and Wyoming that he's going a different direction.
His top three as of this moment is NDSU, Iowa State and Minnesota. He's going to NDSU on Friday (April 5) and Iowa State next weekend. Minnesota is sending coaches in a couple weeks to work him out to see where he fits.
Zenzen was born around the Super Bowl, so he says football has always been in his life.
He is up at 5:30 a.m. four days a week in the summer. He lifts at 6 a.m. followed by basketball, his fencing job and more basketball. He plays football, basketball and track at Barnesville, but has decided to play baseball this spring.
He had 36 solo tackles, 58 assisted tackles, 26 tackles for loss, eight sacks and 12 catches for 159 yards and three touchdowns as a junior. He'll move to linebacker next season, so teams can't run away from him.
Other tidbits: Zenzen has an overall GPA just above 3.80 and played a game as a sophomore with a cracked rip and a punctured lung. He went duck hunting the next day, told his stepmom that his lung feels like it's gurgling, spent five days in the hospital, missed two games and got back in time to play rival Hawley.
"Kids from small towns can go to big colleges, too," Zenzen said.
Mason Miller - Ada-Borup
Miller is 6-7 and 240 pounds. He's been on the radar for coaches since he was a freshman when he started at tight end and linebacker for the Cougars. He was 6-5 and 205 pounds at that time, so it's understandable.
Miller moved to left tackle and defensive end when Ada-Borup moved from Class 9-man to 11-man when he was a sophomore. He was 6-7, 225 pounds at that point. The Cougars went 12-1 and went to the state semifinals.
Things with Miller's recruitment picked up a lot when an NDSU coach saw him play basketball his sophomore year. He got to see his footwork. Minnesota contacted Ada-Borup head coach Paul Tinjum inquiring about prospects. Tinjum said NDSU was beginning to look. A couple weeks later, Tinjum was contacted by Minnesota again.
Miller attended both NDSU and Minnesota camps last summer. Last spring, Wisconsin sent a coach to see Miller during the track and field season.
As a junior, he played defensive end and tight end. In the section championship game, Miller played with a sprained MCL and refused to come out of the game. This winter was a busy place for Ada, as coaches from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Iowa State, NDSU, UND and Northern Iowa all came to see Miller. Columbia and Yale have also contacted him. Most colleges are recruiting Miller as a left tackle.
Miller grew up in a basketball family. His dad played for Ada-Borup and his mom played for Melrose, Minn., in high school. She's 5-11, has three brothers who range from 6-4 to 6-6 and Mason's dad is between 6-8 and 6-9. They made sure he grew up on Michael Jordan.
In fact, his mom challenged his dad to a basketball game when they met.
"Little did I know how good he was," Dawn Miller said.
Dawn jokes that if her children didn't grow up big then that means they were switched at the hospital. Mason certainly wasn't switched at the hospital.
Miller had 31 tackles, six for loss, 1.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble on defense in 10 games as a junior. He also had nine catches for 149 yards. He's got a visit with NDSU soon and UND. On April 20, he's going to visit Iowa.
Miller has a strong love for basketball, averaging 12.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks a game for Ada-Borup's basketball team. He averaged 19.7 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in three games at the state tournament. He still hasn't decided if he wants to play basketball or football in college, as he's receiving looks from some Division II schools for basketball.
As for football, he has offers from NDSU and UND.
Other tidbits: He has a 3.72 GPA and hopes to do some kind of agricultural engineering. He works on a neighbor's farm in the summer driving a grain cart, fixing equipment, fixing grain bins and mowing lawns.