As a freshman in high school, Perham's Colton Hackel played wide receiver and racked up 661 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Now a three-year starting quarterback, that athleticism speaks to Hackel's reputation as a dual-threat quarterback and his appeal to college football recruiters.
Earlier this week, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Hackel gave a verbal commitment as a preferred walk-on at UND.
"Obviously, the coaching staff played a big part," Hackel said. "I love the staff. They checked in on me every week, and I got to know them and the commitments coming in with my class."
Hackel is the 11th commitment of UND's 2022 recruiting class and fifth of the class from Minnesota.
UND's quarterbacks include second-year starter and sophomore Tommy Schuster, Canadian sophomore Quincy Vaughn, true freshman and former Minnesota Player of the Year Trey Feeney and true freshman Simon Romfo of Langdon Area.
As a sophomore in 2019, Hackel played in 11 games and ran for 1,191 yards and 13 touchdowns while passing for 1,555 yards and 19 touchdowns.
In a pandemic-shortened 2020, Hackel played in six games and ran for 697 yards and 11 touchdowns and passed for 730 yards and nine touchdowns.
"I would say my strengths are in the dual-threat aspect," Hackel said. "I can use my legs at any time but one thing I take the most pride in is my arm strength and accuracy, putting the ball where only my receiver can get it."
Hackel's dad, Russ Hackel, is the head football coach at Frazee.
Hackel entered the 2021 season sixth in Perham history with 1,977 rushing yards and seventh in career passing yards with 2,461.
The Yellowjackets have a strong history of quarterbacks including the top four in school history statistically in Jenson Beachy (2015-18), Ben Bucholz (2007-09), Jordan Hein (2009-12) and Marcus Hendrickson (2005-07).
Beachy is a quarterback at Concordia. Bucholz played at Minnesota Crookston. Hein went on to be Bemidji State's all-time passing yardage leader and Hendrickson played wide receiver and quarterback at UND. In his senior season in 2012, Hendrickson threw for 434 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-41 loss at San Diego State.