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Twigg ends football career as all-time receptions leader

TANNER TWIGG, right, broke the career receptions record at Trinity Bible College, eclipsing the prior mark set by Head Coach Dustin Morgan, left. Submitted photos.

Tanner Twigg, a 2011 Detroit Lakes graduate and multi-sports athlete, recently completed his college football career as the all-time receptions leader at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, N.D.

Twigg got to Trinity transferring from Dakota State University in Madison, S.D. as a freshman. He transitioned down the line of scrimmage from the wide receiver position to the slot and at tight end for head coach Dustin Morgan’s offense.

“After I transferred it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had,” Twigg said.

Twigg, a three-year starter, and Morgan grew close in their years together on the sideline. Their careers were close also.

Twigg finished his career as the all-time leader in career receptions with 110 catches for 1,164 yards and seven touchdowns. He broke the reception mark previously set by Morgan.

“We’re close and it did mean a lot to break his record,” said Twigg. “Personally, I just wanted to win games.”

“Tanner understood the game of football probably better than any kid I’ve coached,” Morgan said.


Twigg also understood that to be successful building a bigger physique was necessary.

“He didn’t come here as a big kid, maybe 185 pounds,” said Morgan. “We asked him to bulk up to play tight end going into his sophomore year and he put on 25 pounds of muscle. He spearheaded the charge in the offseason.”

Twigg’s senior year was a season of adjustment as Morgan combined nine years of running the spread offense and merging into a Wing-T hybrid. Having speed in the backfield made the jet sweep a key to the offensive attack to complement the passing game.

“It was a growing process,” Morgan said. “Tanner found a comfort zone running routes from the tight end matched up against linebackers. He was so good at using his body to get himself open and positioning himself to be open.”

Twigg, a 6-foot, one-inch, 230-pounder as a senior was more than just a target in the offensive scheme. He was a team leader with a mentor role.

“Being a senior on a very young football team, I tried to contribute and see the growth in the younger players and see the program reach heights it hasn’t reached before,” said Twigg.

“We struggled a lot offensively this year,” said Morgan. “The change was something I wasn’t used to.”

Twigg’s role saw some metamorphosis, as well.

“To be honest, we ran away from him a lot because it wasn’t fair to ask him to be a primary piece of the run blocking scheme when he wasn’t asked to do that the past three years,” Morgan said.

Twigg was a key part of a prime play off the jet sweep rolling the coverage running routes in a flood formation.

“He was usually the piece of that play that was open,” said Morgan.

Bringing success from the field to a coaching role became part of the routine in practice for the former Laker.

“He wants to be a coach,” said Morgan. “We were understaffed here and I’d have to coach quarterbacks and running backs. I’d leave the receivers under Tanner. It was nice to know you have that kind of crutch to lean on. He was a special kid to coach. You hate to see the time when that kind of kid graduates.”

Tanner’s career was capped by garnering conference attention. He received honorable mention on the All-National Christian College Athletic Association football team.

Twigg plans to finish school this coming summer with a degree in physical education, then beginning a quest for a teaching position and a coaching gig.

Although, according to Morgan, there is a backup plan.

“We are both huge WWE fans,” said Morgan with a laugh. “I secretly think he’s building to become a WWE wrestler. He’d be an amazing wrestler He has that kind of personality and would entertain the crowd.”

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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