But it wasn’t just the proximity that made Favre so appealing to Jensen.
“That was obviously my guy that I watched every Sunday,” Jensen said. “I got to watch Brett Favre, and just his passion and love for the game really stuck with me.
“He’s probably not the best guy to watch technique-wise, but Brett is one of a kind. His love and passion for the game, the way he plays, is something that I always admired when I was growing up and it’s something that just sticks with me in the back of my mind. Because that’s kind of how I play. I love the game so much. I’m willing to do what it takes to get better and to be great, and that’s what Brett did.”
Whatever Brock Jensen has done to this point, it obviously has worked.
His phenomenal success through high school and college provides the evidence. After being the starting quarterback for a high school state title and the last three Football Championship Subdivision national championships at North Dakota State, Jensen doesn’t want to stop now that he has signed with the Dolphins as a rookie free agent.
“I went in there (at North Dakota State) coming out of high school and my goal was really to win one,” said Jensen, whose high school team also won a state title when he was a sophomore. “After that first one, obviously you’re going to set another goal, and that was to win two. And then the next one came. You set long-term goals. You take a look at what kind of team you have and you see a whole bunch of potential and all the games that you can win. That’s just what we did over the course of my career there. I had great teammates, great coaches. It was just a great place to go to school.
“Three national championships, a couple of state titles ... got to get a few Super Bowls now.”
As the titles suggest, Jensen simply is a winner. His record as a starter in high school was 23-2 and he basically doubled those numbers at North Dakota State by going 47-5, even adding a victory in a backup capacity as a redshirt freshman in 2010.
Do the math, and that adds up to a 70-7 record as a starting quarterback.
Sure, Jensen had a lot of talent around him at North Dakota State, starting with Dolphins rookie third-round pick
The 6-foot-3, 223-pound Jensen was an effective dual threat throughout his collegiate career. He scored 35 rushing touchdowns in four years, reaching double digits each of the last two seasons. Throwing the ball, Jensen completed 64.9 percent of his passes over the past three seasons and had a remarkable 34 touchdown passes against only seven interceptions in 2013.
With Jensen leading the way, North Dakota State beat an FBS program each of the last three years — Kansas State in 2013, Colorado State in 2012 and Minnesota in 2011.
A third-team FCS All-American in 2013, Jensen closed out his career by winning a second consecutive MVP award in the national title game.
It was a quite remarkable college career indeed, especially when you consider that Jensen wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school.
“I was overlooked by a lot of teams coming out of high school making the college transition,” Jensen said. “All I wanted is that opportunity, just like anyone could ask for. I got it at North Dakota State. In my mind that’s all I needed. I just needed the one shot and I knew I was going to put in all the work, all the time that I needed to be great. I just didn’t want to go to college and play football and be mediocre. I wanted to be great. I wanted to leave a legacy along with my other teammates that came in with me in my recruiting class. When you work hard enough and you’re driven enough, you can make it happen.”
Five years later, Jensen is dealing with a similar scenario. Despite his college accomplishments, he was bypassed in the 2014 NFL draft, just like he was bypassed by major colleges coming out of high school.
“The same exact thing, same situation I’m in right now,” Jensen said. “I was overlooked in the draft. I just needed that team that was willing to work with me, to put in time and just like me enough to take that chance. I’m grateful to be down here in Miami, part of a tremendous organization. It couldn’t have worked out better for me. I’m very fortunate and blessed to be here. I’m going to do what it takes to contribute to the team.”