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Monday (Dimitrius Underwood flashback) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional football, Vikings Updated: March 3, 2014 - 9:01 AM

Former Vikings first-round draft pick Dimitrius Underwood has become such a punchline in Minnesota sports history that it de-humanizes the very real and scary saga of what went on in 1999 when he left the team in training camp amid all sorts of personal problems.

Underwood shows up on those "all-time draft bust" lists for good reason, but the human element of what happened nearly 15 years ago came flooding back to us recently with the saga of another similarly troubled player. Per the San Diego Union-Tribune:

The former San Diego State running back who went missing this week after leaving the NFL Scouting Combine for religious reasons has been found safely, telling friends he spent days alone in a Florida airport because God advised him to, sources said Friday.

Adam Muema was found Thursday at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, ex-Oklahoma linebacker Corey Nelson said.

The airport is near the athlete performance facility where they spent the past two months training for the NFL. Muema had been there since Monday, when his Southwest flight from Indianapolis landed at about 1:30 p.m. ET.

Muema called Nelson on Thursday to ask for a ride. When Nelson arrived, he said Muema was still dressed in NFL-issued combine gear. When asked to describe Muema’s demeanor on Thursday, Nelson said the running back seemed “focused, cheerful and very wise.”

“He said he was at the airport for three days straight,” Nelson said. “He was telling me when I picked him up that God told him to stay at the airport and don’t do anything. Just stay there. That’s what he did for three days straight.

"On the fourth day, he told me he couldn’t do it anymore. He decided to call me.”

Maybe it's just us, but if there is one encouraging thing between Underwood and Muema, it is this; there seems to be more compassion with the story now than just a quick-trigger football reaction. We'll try to avoid being too cynical in attributing that to the fact that Muema hasn't been drafted yet.

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