MANKATO — For the last five years, Adam Thielen's summer has ended with a trip to Mankato, checking into one of the Minnesota State dorms to get ready for the football season.
But there was something different about Thursday, when he reported to Sears Hall as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. There were people lined up to get his autograph, now that he's a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
"It was pretty cool," Thielen said, shortly after checking into his dorm room and before he took care of finding a bike and weighing in and getting the schedule. "One guy had a college picture of me to sign. But it's just another camp; it's still football."
Thielen was one of the top receivers in Minnnesota State history, accumulating 192 receptions for 2,674 yards and 19 touchdowns in four seasons. Because of that, he's getting a chance to play professionally, opening camp today on the same practice fields that he's worked on the last four years.
"It feels the same, checking in for camp, just like college," Thielen said. "Once I get on the field, it shouldn't be much different. I should feel comfortable."
Thielen has survived a rookie tryout camp and had participated in all of the team's offseason activities, giving him a chance to get to know his teammates and coaches and become accustomed to the way a professional team operates.
"I expect to do my best," he said. "I feel like I belong, and it's now up to me to show the coaches that I belong."
Thielen, who is from Detroit Lakes, is one of 12 receivers on the roster, which also includes for MSU teammate LaMark Brown. Thielen, who expects to have 10 or so family members and friends watching him this weekend, opened some eyes in minicamp with his quickness and sure hands.