The cold, wet weather that poured more than three inches of rain on the Twin Cities metro area forced some changes at the Football University camp over the weekend.
Instead of having three 80-minute practices on Saturday and two on Sunday, two practices were held on both days. Sunday's practices were around 40 minutes longer to ensure the same amount of field time for the athletes.
"It would be easy to just stay inside, but it's important to get on the field and get as many reps as we can outside," said FBU coach Mike Wilson.
Sunday's weather was still dreary. A steady drizzle persisted throughout the day and temperature was around 50 degrees -- an improvement from Saturday nonetheless.
Smith, left, gave his verbal commitment to BYU after attending camp and receiving an offer in June 2016
Although Rosemount offensive lineman Jacob Smith has already all but punched his ticket when he committed to Brigham Young nearly a year ago, he is not taking his senior year for granted. He spent this weekend working on his skills for the upcoming high school season.
“I am looking to improve my form and technique and everything.” Smith said. “We have a great coach here and I am looking to learn my position as best as I can.”
Smith had specific skills he was looking to work on over the weekend.
“I am working on my pass protection and form. At the next level they run a lot of pass protection and a lot of guys on the outside who like to swing around the outside so I am trying to get that down.”
Smith had an impressive weekend – walking away as one of the athletes with his ticket punched to the Top Gun Showcase.
One of the top players in Minnesota's Class of 2018 participated on his home turf on Sunday.
Woodbury's David Alston -- who possesses 16 Division I scholarship offers -- practiced with the defensive linemen. He elected not to participate on Saturday after getting home in the early-morning hours from a visit at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
"It was really good, I really like Nebraska. They have a lot of resources there," Alston said. "It was cool to see everything they put into giving the best experience for being a student-athlete."
Alston said he was excited to "be in football mode" on Sunday considering the limited opportunities he's had since the end of his junior season.
He also said he wanted to work on his hand techniques and his pass rush moves while at the camp. He got the opportunity to go one-on-one with Rosemount's Jacob Smith on a few occasions, which both highly-regarded prospects said they enjoyed.
Nelson saw limited action as a freshman receiver for Lakeville North. He's expecting to have a larger role this season.
Raja Nelson is an FBU veteran, and he's only going to be a sophomore in high school.
The Lakeville North athlete said he switched to receiver from defensive back for the first time at this year's camp.
"It's a huge transition, but knowing both sides is helpful for me," Nelson said.
Nelson caught nine passes for 51 yards on varsity as a Panthers freshman. He said he needs to gain a better understanding of the game and wants to improve his blocking on the edge.
"The coaches here tell me what I need to work on," Nelson said. "It's criticism, but it's also advice on how I can get better. I use that when I'm training in the offseason.
Grand Meadow's Zach Myhre, above, and Cromwell's Nic Johnson were two players from 9-Man programs who attended the FBU camp
A majority of the Minnesota preps who competed at the FBU camp hailed from schools in Class AAAA or larger. There were two players, however, from successful 9-Man programs.
Cromwell's Nic Johnson and Grand Meadow's Zach Myhre got a taste of 11-man football. Johnson was a two-way starter as a junior for the Cardinals, which advanced to the 9-Man state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. He was the team's leading receiver and also started at defensive back.
"Doing this kind of stuff as a 9-Man player is important to see where you need to improve in order to make an impact," Johnson said. "You have to learn somehow about 11-man since that's what's played in college, the routes, the positioning and stuff."
Myhre was profiled in a feature story on Saturday, but he shared similar sentiments to Johnson. The Superlarks running back/linebacker said he wanted an introduction to 11-man concepts and schemes.
"The defense are a little different," Myhre said. "We're running a Mike-Sam-Will set up and we don't ever do that in 9-Man. I think I'm getting the hang of it, though."