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Wade Sullivan of Lakeville North named Mr. Football

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 12/04/16, 5:45PM CST


Sullivan, a Star Tribune All-Metro first-team selection, was chosen from 10 senior finalists for the award.

Lakeville North's Wade Sullivan scored a touchdown in the first overtime against Rosemount in October.

Lakeville North running back Wade Sullivan was named Mr. Fooball by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association player of the year, the coaches group announced Sunday.

Sullivan, a Star Tribune All-Metro first team selection, was chosen from 10 senior finalists for the award.

At 5-9 and 179 pounds, Sullivan, who's been timed running a 4.6 40-yard dash, combined strength and speed to rush for 1,787 yards and 31 touchdowns. He finished the season with 2,178 all-purpose yards and 32 TDs and helped lead the Panthers (9-2) to the state tournament, where they lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Totino-Grace.

“He’s a super-special player,” Lakeville North coach Brian Vossen told the Star Tribune earlier this year. “Any team that has a player like him is going to build around him.”

Sullivan is a former wrestling state champion, winning the Class 3A 113-pound title as a ninth-grader and finishing second at 145 pounds last year. The leverage and determination learned in the wrestling room have paid dividends on the football field.
Sullivan packs a bigger-than-expected wallop when he lays into a linebacker.

“I’ve always had quick feet,” he said. “But wrestling has helped. You’ve got to react real quick and think two moves ahead.”

Sullivan bursts through the Burnsville defense in a mid-season game.

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