Sports Spotlight: Danny Kittner

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Making it to the National Football League from the Northern Sun Conference is difficult, but it can be done. Adam Thielen went from Minnesota State-Mankato to the Minnesota Vikings.

This week’s Sports Spotlight plans to do the same thing. U-Mary’s Danny Kittner is the number one receiver in all of NCAA Division-II football.

Moving away from home is never easy, but it’s sometimes necessary. One U-Mary wideout did it three years ago to begin chasing a dream: play professional football. Gilbert, Arizona is 1,500 miles away from Bismarck, and Danny Kittner took that leap of faith in 2018.

Danny Kittner, U-Mary wide receiver, said: “Going out of state is actually pretty cool. I didn’t know about North Dakota too much until I obviously got out here. But I’m very blessed with the opportunity I got, and I’m blessed that Coach (Craig) Bagnell gave me the offer, and I got the opportunity to come here and play.”

The game of football has been prominent in Danny’s life from a young age, and he’s had his eyes set on the top level from the beginning.

Kittner said: “I fell in love with football ever since I knew what it was. Me and my dad were out throwing the ball in the backyard when I was about four or five years old. Seven years old was my first year of tackle, and I haven’t looked back since. So, I fell in love with the game once I knew what it was, and never looked back.”

Kittner currently leads NCAA Division-II in receiving yards and receptions and is second in touchdowns. Even for new wide receiver coach Nathan Frame, he’s known since day one what goals Danny has set for himself.

Nathan Frame, U-Mary receivers and tight ends coach, said: “The first day I took this job in the spring, I asked him, I mean I asked all the wide receivers, ‘Where do you want to be in the next five years?’ And he said, ‘NFL.’ For him, it’s what are you doing daily to line up to that goal.”

That daily drive has made Kittner one of the best receivers in the country. He’s confident in himself and his future.

Kittner said: “I’m not the biggest guy. So, I’ve been told numerous times only a certain percentage go on to play college football and only a certain percentage go on to play in the NFL, but I never listen to any of that. It’s fuel for me. I add it to the fire, and that just helps me more because it motivates me. I’m going to prove them wrong.”

Kittner and the Marauders play on the road the next two weeks, then return home October 30th to face Concordia-St. Paul. This Saturday, U-Mary is in Sioux Falls to take on the Cougars and on October 23rd the Marauders play in Moorhead.

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