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After initial reluctance, Perham's Hein thriving at quarterback

Perham quarterback Jordan Hein has thrown for 583 yards and six touchdowns this season while adding 618 yards and seven scores on the ground.

Perham, Minn. - Perham quarterback Jordan Hein cried the day he made the switch to quarterback, and it wasn't tears of joy.

Quarterbacks may act like they don't have to answer to anyone, but Hein proves that mom and dad don't need whistles or the threat of sprints to get orders done.

"I was a running back in fifth and sixth grade and then, in seventh grade, my parents made me play quarterback," Hein said. "I wanted to play running back all my life because I thought they were so cool.

"They said I had to play quarterback because I had the skills and tools, otherwise, I'd be a running back right now. I don't know how they got it done with the coaches, but they told me I'd be in big trouble if I wasn't playing quarterback. I cried my way to school in seventh grade and became a quarterback."

Hein certainly isn't crying now, as, according to Hein, 30 colleges are looking at him, including Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan State and Minnesota, with the University of North Dakota having given him an offer. Hein says he's narrowed his list down to 10 teams, but there's only one team he is really focused on right now.

"I'm keeping it quiet and worrying about Perham football right now," Hein said. "It kind of motivates you to go and play when you know there's people watching you and your team. I like having the target. I play better when there's more people watching."

Hein may have a target on him, but team's certainly aren't hitting it, as he's thrown for 583 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 618 yards and seven touchdowns while leading Perham to a 5-0 start and - as of Monday - a No. 3 ranking in Minnesota Class 3A.

"To have those stats is one thing, but to be as unselfish about it as he is is another thing," Perham coach Mike Jordahl said. "He runs the ball hard, he's a smart player and he leads on the field."

Little did Hein know what the quarterback position would bring him on that tear-filled trip to school in seventh grade.

"We knew that he was special when we saw him in seventh grade," Jordahl said. "We knew that he was special right away."

It isn't as though Hein never gets to run the ball - to go along with his 2,720 yards passing at Perham - he broke Pete Guck's career Perham rushing record of 2,425 yards from 2001 to 2003 on Friday, bringing Hein to 2,430 career rushing yards as a Yellowjacket.

Hein is also 37-for-68 passing with two interceptions, averaging 116.6 yards through the air and 123.6 yards on the ground this season to go along with 15 tackles on the defensive side. There seemingly isn't a position Hein can't play.

The quarterback position may have brought tears, but it also could bring a bright future for Hein.

"I love being the quarterback," Hein said. "I love being the leader and it's a role that fits me nicely. Plus, I still get to run."

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Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548