A familiar face to basketball fans has been one of the key cogs in the success of the SMB (St. Paul Academy-Minnehaha Academy-Blake) Wolfpack through the first half of the football season.

Freshman Jalen Suggs of Minnehaha Academy led the Wolfpack to a 4-0 start, compiling nearly 700 combined yards passing and rushing. He spent the week before last Friday’s 31-19 victory over New Life Academy in a walking boot to protect a lower leg injury, then had his best overall game to date. He rushed for a season-high 96 yards and completed nine of 20 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown.

Suggs’ basketball talent has led to numerous Division I basketball offers, including one extended by University of Minnesota coach Richard Pitino. Some speculate his football upside is just as good.

“I could see him being a college quarterback,” said Blake activities director Nick Rathmann, whose school is the home for SMB. “He’s just that good of an athlete.”

El-Amin commits

Hopkins guard Ishmael El-Amin, the son of former Minneapolis North star Khalid El-Amin, recently gave a verbal commitment to play at Ball State in Muncie, Ind. The 6-4 El-Amin averaged 14.7 points per game for the 2016 Class 4A champion Royals. He had offers from Nevada, Texas Tech, DePaul, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Tennessee Tech and Denver.

Jim Paulsen