“I texted him right before the pick came in, and he thought I was just joking.”
That’s what newest Vikings addition Eric Kendricks said about texting his former teammate Anthony Barr that they would be reunited in Minnesota.
Kendricks and Barr each made conference calls to the Winter Park media room following Minnesota selecting Kendricks at No. 45 overall. One thing is for sure…the teammates (and UCLA roommates) are equally enthusiastic to play alongside each other once again.
“When I got the call […] it took me at least a minute to realize what was happening, where I was going, and who I was playing with,” Kendricks said. “I really felt like it was kind of disrespectful because I wasn’t saying much, but once it finally clicked, I got so happy and the rest just took off from there.”
Barr, drafted by the Vikings last year, expressed his excitement through several tweets directly after the pick was made. Barr admitted he never thought it was realistic that Kendricks would play in Minnesota, saying he never talked to Mike Zimmer or Rick Spielman about the fellow linebacker. However, he has no doubts that Kendricks is NFL-ready and will bring a huge amount of upside to Zimmer’s already-strong defense.
“[Eric is] very smart, physical, hard-working, a natural leader. He’s going to do great things for us. I couldn’t be happier.”
Kendricks couldn’t hide the emotion in his voice either, and he expressed nothing but genuine gratitude to be joining Barr and the rest of the Vikings roster.
I couldn’t be more proud and happy to be part of this organization – especially being with one of my best friends and old roommate Anthony Barr. That’s just a blessing in disguise. I can’t wait to play.
Kendricks is a five-year senior at UCLA. During the 2014 season, the LB tallied 149 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions. He also received both the Butkus Award and Lott Trophy. Kendricks led the Bruins in tackles in each of his last three seasons.
Barr has zero doubts about his best friend being prepared for the pros.
“He spent five years at UCLA, growing and maturing. Knowing what type of person he is, knowing how hard he works, how seriously he takes it and how much he loves football, I definitely think he’s NFL-ready.”
As to which roommate is stronger, though?
“Umm…that’s a close one,” Barr said, pausing. “Wait–I am. What am I saying?”
Good answer, Anthony. Good answer.