Jordahl making an impact on-and-off the field
Payton Jordahl knows he's going to be a pro one way or another. The senior specialist has snapped 389 times at Minnesota since 2015. He has been nearly flawless on the field and has made a positive impact on the Gophers' special teams play. Howev...
Payton Jordahl knows he's going to be a pro one way or another. The senior specialist has snapped 389 times at Minnesota since 2015. He has been nearly flawless on the field and has made a positive impact on the Gophers' special teams play. However, it's his work off the field that may leave an even more positive impact on the community.
Jordahl has already graduated with a degree in youth studies and is working on his master's degree in youth development leadership. He has a passion working with today's youth and strives to leave a meaningful impact with them.
"I want to go pro in that," said Jordahl. "I'm going to work on going pro in football, but if pro football doesn't work out for me, I will have a degree to fall back on, and that's youth development and leadership, which basically helps young people live life."
Working on his master's degree, Jordahl also can be found in afterschool programs with kids in the community. He takes pride in helping them, but he also uses the experiences to learn more about himself and his life.
"I learn a lot from them," he said. "It's not just me teaching them, it's me learning. When you see a young person that you start working with and they may not be going in the right direction, you do some stuff with them and build a relationship with them. Then you begin to see their life turning around. You learn so much from those young kids."
For Jordahl, working with youth is his calling. His positive attitude and caring persona are what enable him to turn small talk into conversation and help him influence a young person's life. It's also made him the man he is today.
"I've never really had an 'aha moment', but you get the enjoyment in little slivers," Jordahl said "But when I sit back and reflect on the work that I've done I can see the different lives that I've changed. And If I've changed a bunch of different lives just a little bit, made a minute of an impact on a child's life, then that makes me smile."
Jordahl hails from Perham, Minn., a town 180 miles northwest of the Twin Cities and one known for its strong community and beautiful lakes. Jordahl grew up an avid fisherman, even going as far as having a mount for his fishing rod on his bike so he could get a quick cast in at any time.
For Jordahl, being able to follow his passion of working with youth and being able to represent his hometown and the state of Minnesota is the perfect mix.
"It's surreal," said Jordahl. "In my area, even though it's in Minnesota, a lot of kids go to North Dakota State or North Dakota, but I always knew I wanted to go to the University of Minnesota," Jordahl said. "So I took a leap of faith. I went into the big city and I was a little over my head at first, but I adapted and made relationships. It's an amazing area, and it's an honor to represent the U."
Shared with permission from the University of Minnesota Sports Information Department.