NEW SALEM, N.D. (KXNET) — North Dakota State University announced today that New Salem-Almont’s AJ Heins has signed on to play football for the Bison.

The 6’3″ 295 lb senior lineman was a key member of the Holsteins’ perfect 12-0 season that ended with an overtime victory in the Dakota Bowl to Cavalier, 28-26.

He’s also a two time wrestling state champ, with a chance of making that three in a row as a senior.

Here’s what Heins had to say about the opportunity to play close to home for his favorite team.

It’s kind of surreal right now. I mean, maybe in a few days it’ll finally hit me, but right now it’s kind of surreal just knowing that I’ve finally made a goal of being one of the D1 guys. It means a lot to me just to show that not only am I from a big school, but I’m from a small community to where we’ve all got each others backs and just because we’re smaller doesn’t mean we don’t got people here that can play,” Heinz said.

A two-way player that played both offensive and defensive line, Heins finishes out his New Salem-Almont career with some accolades as well, being named to first-team all-state twice for his offensive line play.

You can follow AJ’s career with the Bison starting on September 2nd when NDSU opens their season against Eastern Washington at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Congrats AJ!