NDHSAA ALUMNI: Jim Kleinsasser


May 29, 2020 12:00 pm

Editor's Note: NDHSAA Media Specialist Tom Mix will periodically feature former student athletes and participants of NDHSAA-sponsored sports and activities on the NDHSAA NOW website (www.ndhsaanow.com).

This week's NDHSAA Alumni Spotlight shines on Jim Kleinsasser, a 1995 graduate of Carrington High School. Below is a list of accomplishments in Kleinsasser's athletic career that started as a three-sport star for the Cardinals.

JIM KLEINSASSER - PREP ATHLETIC STANDOUT AT CARRINGTON HIGH SCHOOL

GRADUATION YEAR: 1995

HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC CAREER

FOOTBALL

  • Letter winner for the Cardinals in football.

  • Two-time All-Region selection

  • Two-time North Dakota High School Coaches Association All-State selection 

  • 1994-1995 North Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year Award winner in football.

BASKETBALL

  • Letter winner for the Cardinals in basketball.

  • North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Class B All-State Second Team Basketball selection in 1995 (senior season).

  • 1995 All-District 8 Team selection.

  • 1995 All-Region 4 Team selection.

  • Member of Carrington’s 1995 NDHSAA Class B Boys Basketball State Championship team. Carrington defeated Grenora 41-30 in the 1995 Class B title game.

  • Named to All-Tournament Team and Tournament MVP following the 1995 state title game.

  • Finished his prep basketball career with 1,108 points.

TRACK & FIELD

  • Letter winner for the Cardinals in track and field.

  • 1995 Class B state champion in the shot put and discus.

  • Throw in the 1995 shot put (62 feet, two inches) was a new Class B state record, which still stands today.

  • Throw in the 1995 discus (183 feet, 11 inches) was a new Class B and overall state record at the time. Both marks have since been broken.

  • 1994 Class B state champion in shot put.

  • 1993 Class B state champion in discus.

COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC CAREER

  • Played football at the University of North Dakota from 1995 to 1998.

  • Two-time NCAA Division II All-American at tight end (1997 and 1998).

  • Three-time All-North Central Conference First Team Selection.

  • Helped UND to a 32-10 four year record during his time at the school with two appearances in the NCAA Division II National Playoffs.

  • Member of UND’s 1995 North Central Conference championship team.

  • 1999 Senior Bowl starter.

  • Also played Basketball at UND his freshman year (1995-1996).

  • In 1998 (senior season)was the only Division II player in the nation to be selected as a Gannett News Service All-American Football Team.

PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL CAREER

  • Drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round (44th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft.

  • Played 13 seasons in the NFL (all with the Minnesota Vikings as a tight end and fullback).

  • Started 130 games of 181 games played for the Minnesota Vikings. 

  • Finished his professional football career with 192 receptions for 1,688 yards and six touchdowns.

  • Also rushed for 147 yards in his career with one touchdown.

  • Ranks second in team history for career starts at the tight end position with 119.

  • Ranks fourth in team history for career receptions by a tight end.   

  • Played in a total of seven playoff games in his NFL career with the Vikings making a total of seven catches for 85 yards.

OTHER HONORS

  • 1995 NDAPSSA High School Male Athlete of the Year Award winner.

  • Member of the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.

  • 2012 NDAPSSA Special Achievement Award winner for his professional football career with the Minnesota Vikings