Friday, May 29, 2015
Blog Page 146

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michael walker

At 5’10”, 225 lbs, Walker really packs a punch when he takes the field as a running back.

This weekend, he is hoping that the Vikings see that skill and effort and choose to give him an opportunity as a free agent.

As a junior at St. Cloud State in 2012, Walker was named First Team All-NSIC North. He rushed 151 times for 748 yards (including five games with 100+ yards). On October 13 of that year, Walker ran for 166 yards and three TDs.

Last season, Walker rushed for 860 yards and 20 touchdowns. On the receiving end, he also caught 23 passes for 223 yards and four touchdowns.

Walker participated in Pro Day at the University of Minnesota on March 3, and he slated a noteworthy 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. Walker said he unfortunately tweaked a hamstring during the 40, so the remaining day’s events were affected by the minor injury. Walker is hoping he can accurately reflect his abilities during this second chance at mini camp.

The Vikings have already acquired a couple new RBs in Jerick McKinnon and Dominique Williams, so Walker will certainly have his work cut out for him.

“There’s going to be a lot of competition and I’m going to enjoy that,” Walker said in an earlier interview. “I’m going to give it 100 percent. I’m ready to go. It’s hard to get recognized coming from a small school. It’s nice that they’re taking this chance.”

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john wolf

 

Last season, Minnesota State (Mankato) quarterback Jon Wolf was the Northern Sun conference offensive Player of the Year. In addition, Wolf was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, an honor given to the top Division II player.

This weekend, Wolf will get a chance to earn an NFL free agent contract when he joins other rookie hopefuls at the Vikings mini camp.

Wolf had an impressive career with the Mavericks, and he hopes to showcase his talents to Vikings staff and coaches. In 2013, the 6’4″, 200-lb QB completed 119 of 190 passes for 2,054 yards and 17 touchdowns with just one interception. In addition, Wolf led the Mavericks in rushing with 1,150 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Wolf was the Northern Sun conference offensive POY this past season and was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, which goes to the top player in Division II. Besides throwing for 17 TDs against one pick, Wolf also led Minnesota State in rushing yards.

The interesting part?

The Vikings are not looking at Wolf as a QB option but rather as a wide receiver, according to the Mankato Free Press. Wolf has proven to be a well-rounded athlete, and his ability to play other positions on the field will certainly be an asset.

If Wolf makes the Vikings roster, he will be joining former Minnesota State teammate Adam Thielen, who made the practice squad last season after participating in the rookie camp.

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John Oyloe

At 6’5″, 260 lbs, former University of Mary defensive lineman John Oyloe is ready to strut his stuff at the Minnesota Vikings Rookie Training Camp in Eden Prairie this weekend.

If all goes as planned and Oyloe impresses the coaches and staff, the DL will have a chance to earn a free agent contract.

Oyloe is a native of Williston, ND and was a three-time All-Northern Sun performer for the Marauders. Oyloe grabbed 54 tackles in 2013, including 8.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. Overall, the senior was third in the league in sacks.

Oyloe wrapped up his college career as U-Mary’s No. 1 tackles for loss leader (41) and No. 2 for career sacks (27.5).

According to the official U-Mary website, Oyloe is the third Marauders player to receive an NFL tryout over the past four years.

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The Minnesota Vikings are hosting their rookie training camp this weekend, and several Midwest football players will get a chance to show what they have to offer. Five of these young men are represented by Greg Johnson of Origin Sports Management in Minneapolis:

  1. John Oyloe, DL  University of Mary (North Dakota)
  2. Michael Walker, RB — St. Cloud State
  3. Jeremy Reierson, TE — University of Minnesota, Duluth
  4. Seth Mathis, ILB — Bethel University
  5. Jon Wolf, QB/WR — Minnesota State University, Mankato

“We’re very excited that all of our rookie clients are in an NFL camp this year,” Johnson said. “Our five clients in the Vikings camp have been an extremely dedicated and hard-working group — training at ETS Gym (in Woodbury) and totally changing their nutrition regimen over the past four months. Their ready to take advantage of their opportunity.”

Current Vikings RB Zach Line personally recognizes the honor and significance of being invited to the training camp. He’s been there. In 2013, Line joined the rookie training camp weekend as an undrafted free agent; he proved to the coaches what he could bring to the table, and on Opening Day, Line was the only undrafted rookie from his class to make Minnesota’s roster.

Line experienced an initial shock and disappointment over not finding a team through the Draft, but he knew that wouldn’t be the end for him. “I knew I belonged on the field and had the ability and work ethic to play this game at its highest level,” Line said. “The draft is only the beginning. It’s not where you start   it’s where you finish!”

For Oyloe, Walker, Reierson, Mathis and Wolf, their journey begins today at the start of mini camp. For the next three days, these guys hope to show Minnesota that they have what it takes to make this team better.  As Line explains, the rookie camp puts young players on an even playing field and allows coaches to see which players are able to learn the playbook.

Line offers the following advice for these players:

“Accentuate your talents. Whatever it is that you are really good at do it really well every time. Coaches can then depend on you and find a spot for you. If you don’t have talent in other areas you need to be able to learn and not repeat the same mistake day after day. Put the draft behind you, check your pride at the door and play ball […] Once you’re on the field, everyone is an equal. Just because one guy was drafted does not mean he now has more power, more speed, or more heart than you. ‘You earn the right to play this game at its higher level on the practice field.’ Notice  this quote has nothing to do with the draft.”

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To see individual articles on the five prospects, view upcoming Vikings Territory posts. 

 

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[NOTE FROM ARIF: I’ve asked Darren Page, lead scout at DetroitLionsDraft.com and contributor at the Bleacher Report (and avid Vikings fan) to give us comprehensive breakdowns on the Vikings rookies. He responded with incredible depth and thoroughness. You can follow him @DarrenPage15 for a stream of his football and non-football thoughts.

He and I would like to thank DraftBreakdown.com and acknowledge NFL Game Rewind for providing all the necessary visual data]

With the ninth pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Minnesota selected UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr.

Because he’s only played on the defensive side of the ball for two seasons, Barr is one of the most unique prospects in the entire draft class.  After struggling to make his mark as a running back through two seasons at UCLA, he made the switch to linebacker with the blessing of new head coach Jim Mora.

Barr took to his new position as a 3-4 rush linebacker immediately.  In a renaissance season for UCLA in 2012, Barr totaled 83 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, and 13.5 sacks.

His statistical outputs experience a slight dip in 2013.  He received far more attention from opposing offenses but was still productive.  66 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks is nothing to scoff at.  Barr also forced six fumbles in 2013.

The way he developed into his role so quickly should speak to his ability to take to coaching.  Everything about what he’d been taught in football had gone out the window, and he applied his athleticism to a new position in a hurry.

Anthony Barr’s athletic traits are the most appealing part of his game.  That’s why he got drafted where he did.  Let’s take a look at how his athletic ability plays into his game and where he still comes up short.

 

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