Sports Spotlight: Jaxon Duttenhefer

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 3:11 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - You have to be a talented football player to start as a 9th-grader in Triple-"A". Mandan’s Jaxon Duttenhefer matches that description.

Braves head coach Todd Sheldon has seen him transform from a raw talent to one of the smartest players he’s ever coached.

“Probably the biggest thing is his intellectual abilities during the course of a game to see what’s happening and what teams are trying to do to him and then to try and counter balance those things especially on defense. Offensively he’s really quick to observe when blitzes are happening and communicate back to coaches he’ll see things on the field where we’ll have to rewind and look at the sideline video to check on but his game intelligence far outweighs any of his measurable’s have to offer,” said Todd Sheldon, Mandan Head Coach.

Jaxon has tried just about every sport but nothing can compete with football. “The physicality of football is something that you can’t get anywhere else and that’s what I love about the game,” said Duttenhefer.

When he’s blocking on offense, Jaxon wants to give his quarterback all the time he needs.

“I feel comfortable I know he’s not going to let anyone buy him when he’s out blocking for the running backs he pancakes pretty much everyone so it’s fun to watch,” said Jayce Lowman, Mandan Quarterback. Duttenhefer is 6′3 275 pounds and runs a 4.7 40.

His speed to go along with his size gives him a shot to make any tackle. Even when the opposing offense is deliberately running away from him.

“Our first couple games we just said yeah they are not going to run at him at all and we said how do we move him around to manipulate other teams and you get done with the game and you say we made those adjustments. They ran away from him 85% of the time and he still lead the team in tackles it’s his ability to run stuff down that’s pretty incredible,” Sheldon said.

Duttenhefer caught the attention of the North Dakota State Bison coaches and he committed to play for the Bison.

“Once March hit after being quarantined for a couple weeks it was a lot of time to think and NDSU is a place that you can’t find anywhere else in the nation. I think the big thing that got to me was the tradition and the atmosphere of it they want to build you as a football player as a human being to become a man of society and they don’t see you as just a football player they see you as more and I think that’s what really makes them stand out,” said Duttenhefer.

Duttenhefer and the Braves beat Davies in the Triple-"A" playoffs. They face Century in the semi-finals on Friday.

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