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Minnesota Gophers: 1st Gopher Drafted In 3 Sports #TBT

With the NFL Draft upon us I thought it would be cool to look at the first Gopher drafted in 3 sports, Noel Jenke.

3 sport star, Noel Jenke
3 sport star, Noel Jenke
MN Autograph Project

Noel Jenke born in 1946 in Owatonna, Minnesota, playing Football, Baseball, and Basketball in High School. When he got to Dinkytown he traded in his Basketball shoes for Hockey skates. From 1966 until 1969 Jenke lettered three times in football, three in hockey, and one in baseball.

In Football Jenke was a hard hitting linebacker who captained the 1969 team. He would be named to the all Big Ten team along with Academic All-Big Ten honors in 1968 and 1969 when he received the Big Ten Medal for athletic and academic excellence. He was drafted in the 12th round by the Minnesota Vikings in 1969 and would later play for the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.

As a hockey player Noel was praised as a two way player with both speed and power. He was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Only playing one year of baseball, Jenke earned himself First Team All American honors in 1969. That status got him drafted by the Boston Red Sox (although he never made it above AAA ball).

If you want to read more about the Gophers famous multi sport athletes I strongly suggest this 2009 blog post by Doogie.