Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings' Barr, Pac-12 rookies at a disadvantage under NFL rule

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: May 16, 2014 - 2:35 PM

The Vikings drafted three Pac-12 players with their 10 picks – UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton and Stanford offensive lineman David Yankey.

And all three players will have to return to class right after the completion of the rookie minicamp on Sunday. The NFL has a rule that limit’s a player’s stay if his school hasn’t finished its session and the player has not graduated yet.

Because Oregon State, UCLA and Stanford are all on quarters instead of semester like most Pac-12 schools, Yankey, Crichton and Barr don’t finish classes until June. They’ll fly back after rookie minicamp and will stay at their school until the end of the quarter. 

“Yeah, it kind of [stinks],’ Barr said. “I got to go back on Sunday for about a month. So hopefully I can learn and hopefully they’ll continue to send me stuff, send me film. It’s going to be more mental than physical really. So when I get to camp I can get my feet on the ground and just roll.”

Oregon State and UCLA have finals on June 9-13, while Stanford will have its finals on June 6-11. It will interfere with team’s OTA dates: May 28-30, June 3-5 and June 9-12.

Crichton, Yankey and Barr will finish school in time for the Vikings’ mandatory minicamp on June 17-19.

“It’s a huge disadvantage,” Crichton said. “Everyone else is learning but at the same time I still get the plays they have to do, the clips of the practices on my iPad. That kind of helps but the whole one-on-one thing with my coach, the vets coming in too, that’s a big disadvantage I’m missing out on.”

Crichton said there are plans in place to video chat with his defensive line coaches, Andre Patterson and assistant Robb Akey. Barr said linebackers coach Adam Zimmer will fly out to campus to work with him, but he’ll mainly keep working with the UCLA staff over the next month.

"I think the guys that we drafted that are on the quarters system, the biggest thing is really the techniques,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said. “I want them to learn how we're lifting, how we approach the different techniques, the different coverages part of things. And then the offensive line, with Yankey, more about the techniques with him, play calls, the terminology, things like that -- things they can take and go back to their schools and work on.”

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