Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph led hundreds of children during Hyundai’s 2018 NFL Youth Football Camp Saturday morning. The event, held in the indoor practice facility at TCO Performance Center in Eagan, gave children the opportunity to hone their football skills and run drills on the same field the Vikings practice on.
The participants were kids between the ages of seven and 13. After posing for individual photos with Rudolph, the event participants were led through OTA-like practice sessions led by volunteer coaches.
Highlight-quality plays were made by kids all over the field, including sideline catches and blazing 40-yard dash times. While the event was centered around the children, it also gave the families of the participants an opportunity to soak in the new TCO Performance Center.
“Having the opportunity to run around on the same field as guys like Stefon Diggs, Everson Griffen, Anthony Barr, Kirk Cousins… you know the exact field that we practice on. These kids have the opportunity today, thanks to Hyundai, to come out and play football and have some fun most importantly,” said Rudolph.
Rudolph, who has twin daughters, said he enjoys representing the Vikings at camps like this because of the important impact they have on children.
“These kids are our future. If we want to change the way things are in our world it starts with these kids. Everything we do is geared around kids, whether [they’re] healthy kids like we have out today or the sick kids we visit in the hospital or kids with special needs… any time we have an opportunity to give back to kids we’re gonna jump on it.”
“It’s awesome. To be able to come here and be the Vikings representative with a company I’ve done great work with in the past, and also be out here with the kids… it’s an honor. I really enjoy getting to spend time with these kids.”
The event assisted Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels, a non-profit organization, in raising money to battle childhood cancer.
Between practice sessions, Rudolph took the time to address some questions about his role in offensive coordinator John DeFilippo‘s new scheme.
“Hopefully they’ll move me all over the place. It’s something that I’m comfortable doing and it’s something that Flip has done in the past. He’s moved his guys around and anything that we can do to create an advantage on offense then I’m all for it.”
When asked about Cousins’ tendency to target his tight ends frequently, Rudolph said he’s always eager to try to be there for his quarterback.
“I’ve played with quite a few quarterbacks throughout my career and people always ask how I transition from one to the other and you know – it’s simple. I just try to focus on doing my job and making sure that whenever they need me and if they rely on me, to come through for them.”
In closing, when asked if he had any personal or team goals for the upcoming season, Rudolph simply replied:
“Yeah, winning a championship.”
The Vikings first training camp at TCO Performance Center in Eagan begins July 24th.