The End Of The Line

The man who dominated the end of the line of scrimmage for so many years has reached the end of the line in his NFL career.  TE Jimmy Kleinsasser, the former University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux All-American, has announced his retirement following the Vikings final game of the season Sunday vs. the Bears.   Fittingly, it is a home game where his family and friends can trek down to the Cities and celebrate his stellar 13 year career – all with the Vikings.

Kleinsasser, a Carrington, ND native, was one of the most dominant players in UND history – if not the most dominant.  He was the strongest and most powerful player on the field most every game but was one of the fastest at the same time.  He also showed his overall athleticism in his freshman year by playing basketball for the Fighting Sioux.  He was the state champion in high school in both the Shot Put and Discus and certainly could have dominated at the Division II level if he had time to pursue that also.  Kleinsasser has donated generously to the University of North Dakota and also to organizations like Make-A-Wish and Special Olympics.

Kleinsasser survived 3 coaching changes with the Vikings (Green to Tice to Childress to Frazier).  In this day and age that is pretty impressive because most coaches bring with them a new staff and new offensive philosophy.   That often means certain players do not fit the scheme and eventually get shuffled off.  The thing about Jim is he fit every scheme.   There isn’t an offensive coordinator out there who doesn’t want a dominant force on the end of the line to set the edge.  Anybody who watched Vikings games over the last 13 years knows how dominant he was, whether it was vs. a defensive end or linebacker.

His loyalty to the Vikings is one of the things that endears him most to Vikes fans.   In 2009, he had multiple offers that were all much more lucrative than the Vikings offered and yet he still chose to stay in Minneapolis.  He chose to stay with the team that took a chance on him in 1999 by trading up to get him.  He chose to keep his family rooted in the Twin Cities rather than force them to move to Detroit or New York for a few more bucks.

There were a few quotes from the articles we listed below that summed up the career of the man that is Jimmy Kleinsasser:

“Oh man, I love Jimmy,” receiver Percy Harvin said. “He plays this game only for one reason and that’s his teammates and the love of the game”.
“I asked him to sign it, an authentic jersey, so I can hang it up in the house. It’s been an honor to play with him.” – Vicanthe Schiancoe
“I like the thought of leaving with the body still feeling somewhat good and not walking away from the game with a limp”. – Jim Kleinsasser

Star Tribune

Pioneer Press

Washington Post

Bleacher Report

21 Responses

    1. Not necessarily. We have heard rumors of FBS players contacting UND but will not know until school begins since bowl games are just getting over with and enrolling, etc. We are thinking the Perish kid who went to Indiana State is one who contacted UND but have no confirmation. Hopefully, there are more.

      Recruiting info is at a premium right now based on the dead period, christmas, etc. We expect to have much, much more stuff as it gets released on websites, etc.

        1. That is a surprise to us. We knew they were recruiting him but didn’t think he would end up at UND. Interesting to say the least.

          1. I can say my first inclination is that this kid is a questionable fit. I have never met him or seen him but based on his tweets he doesn’t seem too excited. We will see how it shakes out but spring ball will tell alot about what the kid has to offer.

          2. abc

            Did you think he wouldn’t end up at UND because of his talent level or that he wouldn’t have a desire to move up to North Dakota? Hopefully its the first one.

          3. A mix of both. Watching highlights from those California Juco games is hard because they are out of the shotgun all game and throw fade routes alot. A UND QB needs to be under center more than not.

  1. UND9296

    I can’t help but wonder how much of a “background check” the staff does on prospective recruits beyond talking to the kid himself and his coaches? For example, in this day and age would it be considered standard practice to check twitter, facebook, etc. to see what a kid may have written in the recent past before offering a scholarship? I guess my question is ultimately whether this kid was signed (if he actually has signed already) with full knowledge that he has shown some questionable judgment with his recent tweets, or whether the staff is now aware of things they may not have known a few days ago. I noticed Tim Bellmore is one of his “followers” on twitter, but that may have just happened today for all I know.

    1. That is a good question. I would think they do follow kids on the internet, if possible. Like I said, I have nothing against the kid but I didn’t like the tone of the article or the tweets. But, kids can mature and change their attitudes once they into the new situation.

        1. If the staff recruited him than we are fine with it. The team needs a QB next year and he could be the guy. Let’s embrace it and hope he can help the team as they head into the Big Sky! We hope to have a writeup soon.

    1. Rob

      I looked at his twitter and didn’t notice anything bad. The only thing that I noticed was that he is VERY confident in himself. I am just curious what he said that has turned everybody off on him. I see that on Rivals he is rated as a 2 star prospect so he must have some talent. I personally am excited for him but I guess we will just have to see how everything pans out. Oskie do you know if any of the other QBs are not returning? I know you mentioned Hendrickson but I don’t remember if it was ever confirmed. Thanks for the great work you guys do!

      1. UND92,96

        As noted above, the most ridiculous tweets have been deleted. I’ll refrain from repeating them.

        I understand why it’s been unfortunately necessary to sign transfer quarterbacks in back to back years. I wish it weren’t the case, but I understand it. I just hope that this is not going to become a trend. Hopefully in another year or two Mollberg and/or Bartels will allow UND to go back to the way things always were under RT and Lennon, when we were able to consistently develop quality quarterbacks from within.

      2. We have not heard anything about QB’s leaving the program. That means its down to Bradley, Comes and Orender next fall. The two HS QB’s will redshirt. Also, we think Hendrickson is going to come back but it cannot be at QB with that logjam.

  2. RC

    Does the move (if it happens) to bring in a Transfer QB, tell us anything about how Mussman (or Faison for that matter) views the last year of his deal?

    1. Hambone

      Braden Hansen, backup from North Carolina. Pretty good HS accolades, but has been a backup in Chapel Hill. One year eligibility left.

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