Linebacker Nate Triplett won’t be the only former Gopher at Winter Park next weekend when the Vikings hold their three-day rookie camp.
The fifth-round pick and Delano native will be joined by former teammates Marcus Sherels and Barrett Moen, who will attend on a tryout basis. Sherels, a Rochester native, is a cornerback and Moen, a Bloomington native, will work at defensive end after playing defensive tackle with the Gophers.
The Vikings were well represented at the Gophers Pro Day in March with vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman, coach Brad Childress and other team executives and coaches in attendance. It’s likely Sherels caugh their attention.
He was timed between 4.37 and 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash, had a 40-inch vertical jump, a standing broad jump of 10 feet, 2 inches and was timed between 4.03 and 4.09 in the shuttle run. His 40 time, vertical jump and shuttle times would have put him among the top three cornerbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Sherels, slowed by shoulder and ankle injuries during his junior and senior seasons, also had increased his weight 14 pounds to 175 by March. "This is a great opportunity," Sherels said. "Any time you can try to play at the highest level of football, it doesn’t get any better than that."
Sherels was not invited to the combine and although he watched the draft he knew he wouldn’t be selected. Sherels’ agent, Chris Murray, began talking to teams after the draft. Sherels said he hopes to impress the Vikings with his play at corner and also by returning punts. "I want to show them that I can also play special teams and that although I might be undersized (5-11, 172 pounds) I have speed and quickness that make up for it."
Asked how much he felt his Pro Day performance helped him, Sherels said: "Probably a little bit but at the end of the day what really matters is the film. The numbers are just a stepping stone and those numbers [at the Pro Day] might have gotten them to look at more film."
While he did not get drafted, Sherels was excited to hear Triplett's name called.
"It was great," Sherels said. "Everyone is happy for him. He's a great player, a great person and I'm glad. The more people that can get drafted [from the Gophers] and on an NFL roster the better it is for the program."
Should add that Gophers beat writer Kent Youngblood reports Kansas City has signed former Gophers defensive tackle Garrett Brown to a free-agent contract.