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Chris Murphy, Published December 17 2012

Perham’s Hein to play football at Northern Iowa

PERHAM, Minn. – Perham’s Jordan Hein lived up to a promise he made to his dad when he was in elementary school Sunday. Nearly a decade ago, a young Hein listened to his dad talk at a wrestling tournament about Apple Valley’s Trevor Laws and how he committed to the University of Notre Dame to play football.

Hein told his dad that someday that would be him and Sunday it was, as the Perham quarterback verbally committed to the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, to play football in the upcoming 2013-14 season.

“I remember thinking it was the coolest thing that you could go to college and have all of it paid for and now that’s me,” Hein said. “It’s a dream come true and a dream I’ve been working on for many years.”

For a kid who cried in grammar school the day his parents told him to change positions from running back to quarterback, Hein did just fine at the position. These days, rather than crying about it, Hein wants the quarterback role and that was a big aspect in his picking of the Panthers over North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Montana State.

“I’m going to be a quarterback there,” Hein said. “Most schools were just recruiting me as an athlete. Northern Iowa wanted me as a quarterback and that helped a lot. They recruited me the hardest, they cared about me as a person, not just a football player, and I really like the players and the coaching staff. They have a good tradition of winning and they believe that I can help.”

Just like Hein on a football field, the numbers don’t stop. He was named first-team all-state and to the Minnesota Vikings all-state team in 2012. He tied the Perham record for touchdowns in a season with 24 in 2012 and he is the career rushing leader in school history with 3,443 yards on 569 attempts from 2009 to 2012. He owns the total offensive yards (6,894) record by more than 2,000 yards, the rushing touchdown record (45) by eight touchdowns, the total touchdown record (83) by 34 touchdowns and the all-purpose yards record (3,823) by more than 1,100 yards.

As for throwing, Hein is also second all-time in passing attempts with 491, completions with 242 and touchdowns with 38 in Perham history.

He also played defense, where he is second in school history with eight interceptions, two of which came this year to go along with his 27 tackles. He even punted the ball 41 times.

Throw in some intangibles outside of athletic ability and all he’s missing is a partridge in a pear tree.

“The first thing he always says, which shows his character, is that he couldn’t do it alone,” Perham coach Mike Jordahl said. “He’s not just a great athlete, he’s a wonderful person. It’s going to be fun to see him play at the next level. We’ll probably never be able to fill his shoes.”

Jordahl has known for quite some time that Hein was something special.

“I was lucky enough to have him and a couple of his buddies in fourth grade,” Jordahl said. “Just watching him play summer baseball and on the playground, it was there. He had a desire to be great and by seventh-grade football you could see the difference in athletic ability. The big thing is his huge heart. All those things put together make for a great kid. Northern Iowa has to be excited.”

Hein will always carry Perham with him and will be all over the Yellowjackets’ record books for a long time to come.

“Everything I accomplished was because I had great coaches and teammates,” Hein said. “I hope I can be remembered for years to come as a representative of Perham football.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548