Learning the ropes in the transition from College Football to Pro takes time. SDSU standout and alum Tucker Kraft took just a few weeks to get up to speed at the next level and has drawn a ton of recent praise for his growth.

Kraft, who was a third-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in the 2023 NFL Draft, hails from Timber Lake, South Dakota, and has seen his role on the team increase each and every week.

Earlier this week, Head Coach Matt LaFleur was asked about Kraft's growth, and he offered up this in his recent presser:

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"If you look through the course of the season, you could argue he's as improved as anybody. He's consistently making plays."

It's high praise for Kraft, who was forced into a starting role that he has since earned by an injury to starting Tight End Luke Musgrave.

In addition to the praise from the Head Coach, Kraft's play has drawn the attention of analysts as well. Here's a video from the Packers and Radio color analyst Larry McCarren breaking down his special rookie season:

Green Bay Packers on X: ".@TuckerKraft is making the most of his increased opportunities. 💪 Larry McCarren shows on Rock Report 🎥 #GoPackGo https://t.co/RtagDFv0UF" / X (twitter.com)

Kraft is fresh off of his best statistical performance of the season in the loss at New York. He finished with 4 catches for 64 yards, including a huge 43 yard gain that included a big broken tackle.

For the season, Kraft has 14 catches for 159 yards and a score, but the past 4 games have been a big area of growth, accounting for all but 11 of his yards this season.

Kraft's emergence has come at a key time for Green Bay, as the team has won 3 of their past 4 games and finds themselves currently as the #7 team in the NFC playoff race.

The Packers play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, a 12:00 Noon kickoff in a crucial game for the playoff chances of both franchises.

Sources: Packers on Twitter

10 Small-Town South Dakota Restaurants That Are Worth The Drive

The Sioux Empire is full of restaurants that are long-known to be local favorites.

Sure, they might be a short drive from home, but you won't regret the experience at these hometown mainstays.

Here are 10 of the best small-town restaurants in South Dakota.

Gallery Credit: Andy Gott

Dives Worth a Drive in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

Almost every small South Dakota town has a watering hole. It’s where the locals go to kick back a few brews and engage in conversation.

Some of these establishments are located in buildings almost as old as the town itself. There might be a fresh coat of paint on the walls or new vinyl on the booth seats, but the ambiance is still reminiscent of a good ol’ dive.

If you think a "dive" is all about the sketchy clientele, the smell of the Devil’s lettuce, and stale Grain Belt, you’d be wrong. Not every dive has a bad reputation.

What makes a dive, a dive?

A dive has character. Neon beer signs and local memorabilia adorn the walls.

You might find a pool table, dart board, and a few video lottery machines.

The bartender knows the regulars by name and they know what you drink.

Some dives don't even serve food except for bags of chips and pickled eggs that sit in a jar of brine on the bar.

Dives aren't fancy. You might see 70's-style wood panels on the walls and wobbly tables leveled with a folded napkin.

Finally, the bathrooms. The bathrooms in dives are in a class by themselves and could be a whole topic on its own. 

There are several small-town dives in our area with friendly faces, cheap booze with a burn, and even really good food! We use the term "dive" in the most affectionate way.

Here are some of the best and why you should go there.

Gallery Credit: Karla Brown

The 5 States That Produce Best College Football Players

When it comes to college football, five states produce more elite talent than the rest.

Gallery Credit: Scott Prather

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