BARNESVILLE, MN - Kaden Zenzen saw up close the work it required to become a Division I football player.
Tuesday night that became a reality for the Barnesville senior to be.
Zenzen announced on Twitter his verbal commitment to North Dakota State, becoming the tenth member for the Class of 2022. "I'd like to thank my family for always being there and for their support. I'd like to thank my friends for making me a better athlete on and off the field." Zenzen wrote on Twitter.
Zenzen joins his older brother Hunter as Division I football players in the family. Hunter committed to Iowa State in December of 2019 after a record setting career at Barnesville High School, where he finished as the school's all-time leader in tackles. He was a finalist for Mr. Football in Minnesota. Hunter redshirted as a linebacker this past season for the Cyclones.
NDSU was among the finalists of schools for Hunter.
Kaden is 6-5, 205 pounds and is projected to play tight end for the Bison. "Kaden has been in the weight room since 7th grade, he’s worked for this morning and night. It again shows that if you are talented it doesn’t matter where you are, the programs will find you." said Barnesville head coach Bryan Strand.
Kaden's season started off with a bang. He had just two receptions (Barnesville is a team that doesn't throw the ball often) for 47 yards and two touchdowns against Pillager in a 36-6 win.
The Trojans were a perfect 7-0 in the shortened 2020 fall season where Kaden was a member of the Section 8AA all-section team. That came on the heels of a 12-1 season in 2019 where Barnesville reached the 2A state semifinals, falling to Caledonia 43-12.
For the Zenzen's dad, Jamey, he now has the unique experience of having two sons commit to play Division I football.
"For both Kaden and Hunter it’s been about finding a place that felt like home. Hunter felt it right away at Iowa State and NDSU checked all the boxes that are important to Kaden." Jamey said.
"Kaden’s been able to rely on Hunter often for advice and so far it’s been spot on. Hunter told him that when he found it, he’d just know it was the right fit."
Strand added; "He is the poster for our program as was Hunter- build our athletes through our weigh troom and make them be tough when others don’t want to be. He is going to be a great Bison."
Kaden's commitment follows another local product, Northwood's Kelby Azure, who also is projected to play tight end at NDSU. Zenzen is the seventh different commit out of the state for Minnesota already in this class for the Bison.
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