High-SchoolMinnesota: Duke Anyanwu

Blaine's Anyanwu turning heads this season

September, 16, 2011
Blaine's football team is no secret when it comes to the top football teams in Minnesota. But when the team lost quarterback Eric Kline to graduation, skeptics weren't sure how the team would respond. From wide receiver to quarterback, in stepped senior Duke Anyanwu. Two weeks into the season, Anyanwu's blistering performance against top contender Hopkins (four rushing touchdowns in his team's 26-20 overtime win) was a wakeup call to the rest of the state — Blaine football hasn't missed a step.

We caught up with Anyanwu to talk to him about this season and why Blaine's team is again primed to contend for a state title.

ESPNHS: You jumped into the quarterback position this season after being a wide receiver last year. How was that transition for you?

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All-State Stock Watch wants to see more of South St. Paul’s Sura

September, 14, 2011
Each week, we’ll take an in-depth look at our All-State preseason football team and let you know how a few of those athletes are faring as the season progresses.

This week, an offensive lineman gets some much-deserved publicity, a star running back isn't getting enough carries, and a stellar QB is carrying his team to impressive heights this season.


UP — Jonah Pirsig, Blue Earth Area, OL

Pirsig was the subject of a big feature by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune this week as one of the state's top recruits. And hey, it's warranted. Pirsig is a beast at 6-foot-9 and 300 pounds, and he's a local hero, spurning top programs such as Wisconsin and Auburn to stay at home and go to Minnesota. And he's a big reason why Blue Earth is off and running with a 2-0 start this season.

DOWN — Sam Sura, South St. Paul

Sam Sura has been spectacular this season. So why's he getting the down arrow on our stock watch? Simple — South St. Paul has been so dominant that he's not getting enough carries. In this week's tilt against North St. Paul, Sura earned just 16 carries, then sat out the entire second half as South St. Paul cruised to a 51-0 victory. Oh sure, in those 16 attempts, he put up 195 yards and four touchdowns. But that's hardly enough work for a spectacular back like Sura. We need to see more carries. (Hey, nobody said coming up with the "DOWN" stock was easy.)

UP — Duke Anyanwu, Blaine, QB

Blaine made a statement this week with a huge win over Hopkins in overtime, and Anyanwu was a big reason why. The senior rushed for four touchdowns in his team's 26-20 victory, and he capped off his impressive day by running in the game-winning score in overtime. Anyanwu's impressive season thus far is starting to pick up steam, and as a result he's gotten some college looks. Keep an eye on this impressive multi-position star.