There’s no guarantee he’ll make the Miami Dolphins’ roster.
All Brock Jensen wants is a chance and that’s what he’s getting.
Jensen, the 2009 Waupaca High School graduate who led the Waupaca Comets to a state football championship in 2008 before quarterbacking North Dakota State to three straight national titles, has agreed to a free agent deal with the Dolphins.
He was with his family May 10 at Clear Water Harbor when his cell phone rang.
“It was just my family and me watching the (NFL) draft,” Jensen said. “They called after the draft to offer me a contract, but they told me in the fifth ground that they were going to be coming after me in free agency and that they were hopeful that I would sign with them.
“It was OK because they really wanted me in free agency,” he added. “They were going to come after me right away and that’s what they did. I kind of took this opportunity and ran with it. It was a perfect situation. They told me if I signed with them that they were going to release a quarterback on their roster and then not sign another guy, so I’d be the only guy that they’d bring in.”
The Dolphins’ current roster includes three quarterbacks: Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore and Pat Devlin. The team released a fourth, Jordan Rodgers, brother of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, earlier this week.
“They really like me a lot,” Jensen said. “I’m just excited to finally get down there and start working.”
Jensen made a name for himself North Dakota State, which offered him a partial scholarship in high school.
“We’re definitely on the map now,” he said of the school, located in Fargo. “After three national championships and (ESPN’s) College Game Day visiting our school last year, people definitely know who the Bison are. The fans up there are absolutely crazy and it actually pretty fun to be a part of. They pack the dome and it’s sold out every game, no matter who they’re playing. There’s nothing like college game day atmosphere and that’s something I’m going to miss.”
Jensen is looking forward to a fresh start in Miami. He won’t be a total strangers, as the Dolphins drafted his North Dakota State teammate, offensive lineman Billy Turner, in the third round.
“I’m excited to get down to some warmer weather,” he said. “I’ve been in the Midwest my whole life. (Winters in North Dakota) are actually a lot worse than Wisconsin. It’s a lot flatter, there aren’t any trees and it’s pretty windy.”
Jensen will leave for Miami this weekend for a minicamp for rookies.
“I’ll be down there for five weeks,” he said. “After that, I’ll have some time off. Then we start camp and get into preseason games. It’s a matter of working hard, being a good teammate and showing that you belong there and that you can contribute to their organization. Show them the reasons why you should be playing and how you can help their team out. You set goals for yourself throughout your career and you do whatever you can to reach them. I’ve been blessed with great teammates and great coaches to put me in this position.”
Jensen believes North Dakota State has prepared him for life as an NFL quarterback.
“In my four years starting and playing the game, I have a lot of experience,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of different situations and defenses and coverages that’ll help translate to the next level. I’ll learn a lot easier.”
Jensen recently visited Waupaca’s Haberkorn Field, where he played high school football.
“Friday night lights,” he said. “It’s something you never forget, playing for the Blue and White.”
He said his favorite memory from high school is defeating Reedsburg 21-20 in the Division 3 state championship game in 2008 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
“It was a phenomenal game,” he said. “I still reflect on that game, one of the funnest games I ever played in.”
Jensen didn’t get a Division 1 scholarship offer, wasn’t invited to the NFL combine earlier this year and wasn’t drafted.
“It definitely fuels my fire every day,” he said. “I’ve always been an overlooked guy and had to prove myself. I’ve been in this situation before. I’m excited to prove myself. I’m ready to compete.
“It’s something you dream of as a kid,” he added. “You finally get this opportunity and you’re going to make the best of it. It’s an honor and a privilege to make it this far. I’m just going to work hard and do my best every day.”