After a promising junior college career, Dakota Jahnke is expected to bolster the Waldorf University football team’s defensive line during the next two seasons.
Jahnke, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end and incoming junior transfer from Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC), signed a letter of intent with the Warriors on March 17.
“He’s a great football player,” Waldorf coach Kent Anderson said. “He’s got a great motor and what makes him an interesting player for us is that he doesn’t have any quit in him at all.”
A Blue Earth, Minn. native, Jahnke graduated from Blue Earth Area High School in 2014. He was a three-year varsity letter winner and one-year starter for the Buccaneers. Jahnke helped the Buccaneers reach the state playoffs for four consecutive seasons, which included capturing the Class AAA state championship with a 15-0 record during the 2012 campaign.
Aside from excelling on Blue Earth Area’s defensive and offensive lines, Jahnke also competed in track and field throughout high school. He ran the 100-meter dash, 200 and also threw the shot put.
Success on the gridiron continued at the next level during Jahnke’s two-year stint at RCTC. As a freshman, he was a member of a Yellowjackets team that rolled to an 11-1 record and had an impressive postseason run all the way to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship Game.
Possessing a strong work ethic, growing up in the region and experiencing success at the collegiate level are just a few of Jahnke’s attributes coveted by Waldorf’s coaching staff.
“He’s got maturity, a sense of success and that local flare,” Anderson said. “That’s a great combination for us. Those three things combined are very important to us.”
Jahnke helped RCTC to a 6-5 record and a 4-1 mark in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference (MCAC) Eastern Division last fall. As the starting defensive end for the Yellowjackets, he racked up 48 total tackles, including six sacks and 11 tackles for a loss to cap his sophomore season with MCAC All-Eastern Division honorable mention recognition.
Jahnke isn’t the only incoming Warriors’ recruit bearing his last name. His younger brother, Logan, a senior quarterback from Blue Earth Area, inked a letter of intent with Waldorf in January.
“It certainly means a lot to me to continue my athletic career at the collegiate level because I have experience playing at this level now for a couple years and I would have never thought I would play any college sport,” Jahnke said. “It is also important to me now because I will be experiencing my last few years of college football with my brother.”
Jahnke is the son of Kevin and Tammy Jahnke. He will study wellness at Waldorf and has future plans to work in physical therapy. Growing up in a town with a population of less than 3,400, Jahnke said he feels at home on Waldorf’s campus and in the community.
“Forest City is similar to my hometown in the fact that it is a smaller town, but also the coaches made me feel comfortable and I connected with them almost instantly,” Jahnke said.
Anderson said Jahnke will quickly assimilate to Waldorf’s campus and football program being that he has an understanding of small-town life. He fits the mold of the direction the Warriors hope to go with their program and had several schools targeting him during the recruiting process.
“We were going up against a lot of teams recruiting him,” Anderson said. “He’s the kind of player we want to get to. Location and being local were important. Going forward, that’s what we want is try to find guys like him.”
Waldorf, which enters its fourth season in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) this fall, had its work cut out when recruiting Jahnke. Conference foes were also in the mix as suitors, but Anderson is excited about Jahnke’s decision to further his career with the Warriors.
00“We’re just thrilled to have him,” Anderson said. “He’s a good pass rusher. He’s got a motor that’s running all of the time.”