FRISCO – After South Dakota’s 39-18 semifinal victory over Montana qualified them for the FCS National Championship Game, tight end Tucker Kraft made a post-match speech in the defensive line room at Dyke House. I was the first Jackrabbit player to arrive at the press conference. center.
He entered, looked at the assembled reporters, and said, “Am I sitting anywhere? I’ve never done this before.”
Yes, it was the last home game of Kraft’s career and his first appearance at the post-game press conference. This marks his meteoric rise from Timberlake to what would become the NFL in a few months. Like he just got here and just emerged as one of the best tight ends in the country I have a feeling, but now he’s gone. Sunday’s national championship game against North Dakota State at Toyota Stadium will be Kraft’s last. He announced in December that he would be entering this year’s NFL Draft despite having two years of eligibility left.
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It will be an inspiring day for crafting on many levels. The last game of his college life. Last time, he joined up with a teammate he loved so much he turned down a lucrative offer to transfer to a power conference school in the offseason. A last chance to win a national championship, an elusive goal that also weighed heavily on his decision to stay with Jackrabbit.
It will be the first time Kraft will face rival Bison this year. It was the final week for Kraft, who missed more than a month with an ankle injury when the Jax beat his NDSU in Fargo in October, where he went 23-21. He warmed up with the team before that game, but was eventually held up until the following week. You can imagine how much he wanted to play that day. Now he gets another chance. Another chance.
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In some ways, the legacy of future draft picks has already been written.
“There are many lessons and stories to be shared from Tucker’s situation,” said coach John Siegelmeyer. Given the opportunity, I chose to stay true to South Dakota football, and when these things come up in the future, we’ll point to Tucker and say, ‘Look what he’s done, still I had a chance in the NFL,” he said. He is a great teammate and has a great future in football. ”
Kraft acknowledges that his decision to stay at SDSU was correct after arriving at Frisco. But all the same, they say it means little if they don’t get the job done, as they say he was just two points short of his 2020-21 spring season and Kraft won the match. Dropped some passes.
Of course, that was before the do-it-all standout at Timberlake had established himself as a bona fide NFL prospect. It happened when I got 780 yards on theHe was essentially the next Dallas Gordart and Gordart was 2nd A round pick who is currently one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Kraft is expected to be one of the first tight ends to leave the board.
Despite missing half of the season due to injury, Kraft was his usual game-changing self when in the lineup. We have shown that we can not only take threats, but dominate run blockers.
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In seven games without Kraft, SDSU averaged 26.4 points per game. In his seven games since his return, he averaged 40.4.
“He’s a big influence,” quarterback Mark Gronowski said. “He’s one of the best run blockers on our team. And as a receiver, he changes the game. He’s a huge target. He catches it, and after the catch he knows he’s going to get an extra five, 10, 15 yards because he’s so hard to tackle.”
Will Kraft have something special to offer national television audiences and rival Bison? His teammates hope so.
“We wish Tuck the best game of his career and set him up for future success at Draft Stock,” said running back Isiah Davis. The preparations will appear on Sunday.”
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Of course, Craft wasn’t the only one who played the last game. The advanced class, which includes standouts such as Reece Winkelman, Caleb Sanders, Isaiah Stalbird, Malik Lofton, Zach Heins and Landon Wolf, also hangs them from Sunday onwards. But Kraft understands and appreciates the difference in making that choice himself.
“Stig’s motto is to play every play like it’s the last,” Kraft said at Toyota Stadium on Friday. “Most players don’t know when their last play is. increase.
“In practice this week, I tried to work harder, being there for the young people, immersing themselves in the moment and enjoying every opportunity,” Kraft added. “You don’t necessarily have to be emotional. I’m happy too. This has been a great journey. I hope those in my position will be able to see SDSU and see a championship-level program.” ”