Hawley native Ben Ellefson announces retirement from the NFL

On Thursday, June 1, former North Dakota State star and Minnesota Vikings tight end Ben Ellefson announced his retirement from football on his Instagram account.

Ellefson spent the past three seasons in the NFL, two of which were with his hometown Minnesota Vikings (He spent his rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars). He appeared in 16 career games making four catches for 36 yards.

The Hawley, Minn. native, stated that injuries were part of the reason leading to him hanging up his pads. He wrote on Instagram, “Injuries are a part of the game and although they are a big reason for me moving on, I am fortunate to be in a spot where I can still walk away from the game as a player, ready to tackle whatever is next in my life.”

He played for the Bison from 2016-19 and suited up for 59 games. Ellefson caught 35 passes for 463 yards and 16 touchdowns while repping an NDSU uniform.

The 26-year-old also thanked his supporters in his retirement post writing, “I’ve been blessed on my path to have people who believed in me, which has drowned out those who doubted. So, thank you believers, for the chances you’ve taken on me, helping and supporting me in my drive to give this game all I could and to reach my fullest potential. The list is long and I am fortunate.”

The Minnesota Vikings Twitter account acknowledged Ellefson’s announcement tweeting, “We wish Ben nothing but the best moving forward.”

He concluded the retirement announcement with Colossians 3: 23-24. It reads, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” NLT

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