The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 28, 2013

Vikings give Thielen his chance

By Chad Courrier

MANKATO — MANKATO -- Adam Thielen wasn't disappointed that he didn't get drafted into the NFL this weekend, and it's OK that he didn¹t sign a free-agent contract with a professional team when the draft was completed.

The former Minnesota State receiver is thankful that he's been invited to participate in the Minnesota Vikings' free-agent rookie camp Thursday through Sunday at Winter Park.

"I¹m just happy that I'm getting an opportunity," he said. "I wasn't expecting to get drafted. I'm just glad to have a chance to keep playing football."

Thielen, 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, made 74 catches for 1,176 yards and eight touchdowns last season, finishing his career ranked second in program history with 198 receptions and third with 2,802 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also ranks among the top punt returners at Minnesota State.

Thielen said he first got a call from a Vikings' official Saturday morning, before the final four rounds of the draft began. He got another call after the draft, then he talked with that person again Sunday morning.

He said he'll finish his classes at Minnesota State this week, and he'll keep working out and catching footballs.

"I just want to mentally prepare myself to play football again," he said. "I want to prove to them that I'm good enough to play in the National Football League. My goal is to do my best and show them that I should be there."

Several Minnesota athletes have taken part in the Vikings' rookie free-agent tryout. In 2010, tackle Adrian Battles was signed by the team after the tryout and went to training camp.