It's the middle of the NFL Offseason, and all fans are anxiously awaiting the start of training camp and preseason.

Each and every year, fans want to know which players will make a big impact on their teams season.

ESPN.com published a recent article highlighting individuals, veterans and rookies, that have impressed thus far in their respective offseason programs.

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Here are some of the names to look out for this season for our area NFL squads:

Kansas City Chiefs - Safety Juan Thornhill (Virginia)

Denver Broncos - Cornerback Michael Ojemudia (Iowa)

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
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Detroit Lions - Wide Receiver Trinity Benson (East Central)

Green Bay Packers - Edge Rusher Rashan Gary (Michigan)

NFC Divisional Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers
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Chicago Bears - Offensive Tackle Braxton Jones (Southern Utah)

Minnesota Vikings - Linebacker Brian Asamoah (Oklahoma)

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Oklahoma v Florida
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For the complete list, as well as an explanation on why and how the players have stood out this offseason, visit the link to the article below.

It will surely be another exciting season of NFL football filled with new faces on each and every team.

We are now just over a month away from the first preseason game on August 4th, and will see regular season football before we know it!

Source: ESPN.com

Know Your South Dakota College and University Mascots

The college football experience is an ultimate high for football fans and it takes several other teams to make that happen week after week during the season.
Just think about what goes into gameday? First and foremost, the players and coaching staff who put in hours and hours of practice and training to play in front of their fans. Then there's field prep, game officials, live broadcasts, concessions, and on-the-field entertainment. Yep, entertainment.

Second to the game, who do you watch? The cheerleaders? The band at halftime? What about the mascot? That's a job not many people can do.
I asked Sioux Falls native and former Cagey mascot for the Sioux Falls Canaries and Little Red & Herbie for the Nebraska Huskers Nate Welch about being a mascot:

  • What does it take to be a mascot?
  • "Losing a bet or filling an opportunity!" Welch says, "An internal energized desire to love life. After meeting great performers who are introverts out of costume, they become the center of attention when they take the stage. And also feeding off the performance of others."
  • Why does the mascot never talk?
  • "Know your role and shut your mouth. You are there to entertain. Tell the story with your actions and not your voice."
  • Advice to someone putting on that costume for the first time?
  • "Remember you are now in a costume. Have fun. Otherwise, you're just a dork in tights. If the fur ain't flying you ain't trying."

Nate Welch has moved on from his days as a mascot to Executive Director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Company in Vermillion, South Dakota.

So, can you name the mascots at our South Dakota Colleges and Universities? Check out the gallery below: