Denfeld High School Honors Alum CJ Ham

Brandon Weathers
Updated: April 26, 2019 11:08 PM

Denfeld High School honored alumnus and Minnesota Vikings fullback CJ Ham Friday.

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CJ showed up to Denfeld not knowing what to expect. He said, "my wife just told me that there's a surprise. I had no idea what that means walking into it."

Denfeld teacher Adair Ballavance said, “as a school, we felt that it was important to honor him with a banner that is on the wall that will stay on there, hopefully, as long as Denfeld is around.”

CJ's parents helped him reveal the banner. It consists of pictures that chronicle CJ's journey from Denfeld High School sports to the NFL. Back in the 2016 draft, CJ feared this journey would be cut short. "My name, unfortunately, wasn't called," he said.

Instead, he received an invitation to the Vikings rookie minicamp. He worked his way onto the practice squad, and eventually, the main roster. He's now the sole fullback on the Vikings roster. In addition to honoring CJ Ham, Denfeld hopes the banner will inspire students to continue to work toward their goals like he did.

Ballavance said, "He came to school here, he's worked hard, he has made something of his life."

The message of perseverence is also told by a direct quote that stretches across the banner. It reads, "growing up in Duluth's West End, you work hard and earn everything you get. It's 100% possible to reach your dreams, and dreams really do come true if you're willing to work for them." 


Brandon Weathers

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