Perusing Southern Minnesota to help his Waldorf University, a private liberal arts college based in Forest City, Iowa, beef up its local recruiting class on the gridiron, associate head football coach Elzie Anderson stumbled upon small-town Blue Earth in 2016.
Little did he, or any of the other university coaches, expect to find the Warriors' potential starting quarterback of the future.
A first-string role, of course, is not guaranteed, and that goes for soon-to-be high school graduates at Waldorf and just about every other college football program across the nation.
But in Blue Earth Area senior Logan Jahnke, the first player from 2016's Buccaneers football team to sign a National Letter of Intent after inking a commitment to Waldorf Friday, Anderson and the Iowa university think they may have unearthed a hidden gem.
"Hey, this kid can sling it," said Anderson, who played for the German Football League before joining Waldorf's staff. "When the coaches watched his tape, they didn't expect him to be as good as they saw."
In checking out BEA's potential college athletes, Anderson said neither Waldorf head coach Kent Anderson, an Iowa State University alumnus, nor assistant coaches anticipated finding a signal-caller of Jahnke's caliber.
Receiving and, on Friday, signing an offer to join the Warriors' National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) program, then, is a testament to the work Jahnke did on BEA's Wilson Field despite a brief history as the Buccaneers' leader under center.
"As pretty much a one-year starter at QB, he took on that challenge very well," said Travis Armstrong, one of Jahnke's assistant coaches at BEA. "This is good for Waldorf and good for Logan a good combination for both of them."
The smallness of Waldorf's community, where Forest City has a population of just over 4,000, is one thing Jahnke said appealed to him, perhaps because it is comparable to hometown Blue Earth, roughly an hour away. The Warriors' renovated facilities, complete with a field that had new artificial turf installed in 2011, were not too shabby, either, the young gunslinger admitted.
But at a university where, according to Anderson, recruits are often given the freedom to choose their positions on the field, Jahnke pinpointed an opportunity for leadership as the most intriguing facet of his future at Waldorf.
"It's going to be tough because it's the next level, but it'll be a good challenge," he said. "I just want to try to make the team better, and Coach said they do have a young team, so it'll be like playing with trying to lead my high school friends."
Bucs head coach Randy Kuechenmeister, who attended Jahnke's signing along with Armstrong, high school principal Rich Schneider, BEA activities director Rob Norman and Jahnke's family, said Waldorf has nothing to worry about when it comes to motivating the program's newest addition to the quarterback room.
"No. 1, he'll bring athleticism, because he can make plays with his feet and his arm," Kuechenmeister said. "But he also brings good work habits the want to do well and the want to win."
If and when he has the opportunity to do just that at Bolstorff Field in Iowa, Jahnke's parents, Kevin and Tammy, vowed to make the cross-state trek for his games. After traveling to watch their other son, Dakota, play for Rochester Community and Technical College, they said Logan simply gives them another chance to watch the family deepen its ties to athletics.
"We're proud of him," said Tammy. "We just want him to keep becoming a better athlete."
And, if Anderson and Waldorf have their way, maybe even a starting quarterback.
Regardless of whether or not he is able to retain his signature No. 4 jersey, worn in honor of the Brett Favre memorabilia that Jahnke said is still plastered all over his bedroom, it is a position he intends to work toward as soon as is permitted.
And by committing to Waldorf roughly two weeks before the typical National Signing Day, he at least has his home in college football secured.
"We're excited for him," Anderson said. "They're excited to have him."
A first-time starter in his 2016 senior season, Jahnke accounted for more than 1,700 yards from scrimmage during the Buccaneers' run to Section 2AA semifinals, passing for 1,043 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushing for another 662 yards and 10 scores.
A starter for both BEA's baseball and basketball teams, Jahnke was recognized with All-Big South Conference honors for his 2016 campaign, during which he also played safety for the maroon and gold.