The seeds planted in the landscape of South Dakota's high school sports scene will bear some NFL fruit this April. I expect to hear two names selected during the NFL draft from South Dakota, Riley Reiff of Parkston and Dale Moss of Brandon. These two have taken very different routes toward their NFL dream. I have covered high school football for over a decade in South Dakota and have watched both of these future pros on high school football fields on Friday nights. I remember watching Riley Reiff line up against class 11B foes and absolutely dominating the game from his defensive end spot. He was a four-year starter for Parkston and earned all-state in three of those years. When he got to Iowa to play his college ball he got moved to the offensive line first playing guard and then getting moved to tackle. Riley is projected as a top ten pick in the draft.
Dale Moss was one of the best athletes on the field for the Brandon Valley Lynx in the fall of 2006. Brandon Valley Head Coach Chad Garrow let the Lynx throw the ball more than most offenses in the state and Dale Moss was a common target. He hauled in 573 yards and 8 touchdowns as a senior on a team that featured running back power runner Nate Mahone. Dale Moss didn't earn first team all-state at wideout that year but finished as an honorable mention behind Allan Schmaltz, RC Central and Sam Holsen, Washington. During that winter Dale switched to the basketball court. Moss wasn't a standout scorer as a junior but blossomed for 18 ppg in his senior year for the Lynx on the hardwood. His athleticism, length and defensive abilities made him an attractive recruit to play college basketball. I always thought he would be a better football player by the combination of great hands and his jumping ability at wide receiver. He ended up becoming a good basketball player for South Dakota State averaging 7 ppg in his senior season but emerged as a standout in his one year on the football field with SDSU. He is now a borderline third-day NFL prospect who recently improved his draft-stock with the best three-cone time many scouts have ever seen.
It has been fun watching such talented players with South Dakota roots get so much attention from the NFL this spring. I can't wait to see South Dakota represented during the NFL draft by these two. The quality of talent and dedication from South Dakota athletes has increased in the past decade and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for area athletes.