Hartman: Ex-Notre Dame stars Sullivan, Carlson reunited

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 16, 2012 - 7:13 AM

The Vikings center witnessed several memorable catches by the team's new tight end in college.

Nobody on the Vikings was more excited than center John Sullivan when tight end John Carlson, his four-year teammate and roommate at Notre Dame, signed a five-year contract for $25 million to play for the Purple.

"We both got out of Notre Dame and were drafted in 2008, went through the pre-draft process, which was at Notre Dame, and he's a good friend of mine, a great guy. I'm incredibly excited to just be with him once again," said Sullivan, a real class act.

Sullivan also signed a five-year, $25 million contract four months ago, so his and Carlson's contracts will run the same length. The Vikings were paying tight end Jim Kleinsasser only $3 million last season in the final year of a three-year, $9 million contract.

Sullivan was asked to grade Carlson as a tight end.

"From my experience he's great," Sullivan said. "I'm not a scout. I leave that up to the scouts in our scouting department -- I would say that about anybody because it's not my job to evaluate players. But he's a great guy and he can help us tremendously, I have no doubt. The aspect that I can vouch for is his leadership and his character, he's second to none. He's great, a standup person, the type of guy that you want on your team."

Sullivan said he remembers a number of great catches Carlson made during the four years they were together in South Bend, but one sticks out.

"I remember against Stanford in 2006, maybe, that he made a diving catch in the end zone and it was a 'Wow' moment," Sullivan recalled. And his memory was correct: Carlson made a spectacular one-handed grab to seal the Irish's 31-10 victory over the Cardinal that year.

Sullivan said Carlson will help the Vikings on and off the field.

They remained close friends after Sullivan went to the Vikings and Carlson to the Seattle Seahawks.

"I'd see him every offseason, played against him a couple times, saw him last year during the preseason," Sullivan said. "Actually he was over here [Wednesday night, when Carlson signed with the Vikings] and we had dinner. I'm very excited that he was in town and they were able to get a deal done."

Carlson won All-State honors in tennis, basketball and football at Litchfield (Minn.) and was one of the top high school athletes in the state.

Even though Carlson didn't play last year after a shoulder injury led to surgery, the Vikings scouts must have liked what Carlson can contribute.

NCAA absence

If the Vikings wind up moving, as I believe they will if a new stadium is not built, insiders who are lobbying for the stadium say some of the blame will be on House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, who refuses to do anything to help pass a bill for a stadium that also would provide a site for national events such as NCAA basketball tournament and the Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, this area doesn't get any NCAA opening-round or regional basketball tournaments like we used to on a regular basis because NCAA officials refuse to book here because they don't know whether the Metrodome will be available in the future. So instead, preliminary NCAA tournaments went to cities such as Omaha, Louisville (Ky.), Portland (Ore.), Columbus (Ohio) and Albuquerque (N.M.) among others.

A new stadium would bring tournament games back to the Twin Cities as there were in 1986 (first and second rounds), 1989 (Midwest Regional), 1991 (first and second rounds), 1992 (Final Four), 1996 (Midwest Regional), 2000 (first and second rounds), 2001 (Final Four), 2003 (Midwest Regional), 2006 (Minneapolis Regional) and 2009 (first and second round).

Jottings

• The Gophers basketball coaching staff considered Wednesday's 70-61 victory over La Salle in the first round of the NIT impressive because the Gophers played on a foreign floor and defeated a team that beat NCAA participant St. Bonaventure and lost to another NCAA team, Temple, by one point in overtime.

• The three main Twins who left in free agency after last season have started spring training with their new clubs to mixed results. Joe Nathan has pitched only two innings for the Texas Rangers but has given up three earned runs on two hits -- including a home run -- and has walked two and struck out one with a 13.50 ERA. Michael Cuddyer is hitting .294 (5-for-17) with four RBI and one triple for the Colorado Rockies. Jason Kubel is hitting only .167 (4-for-24) with two RBI and two doubles in 10 games for Arizona.

• The Gophers football team lost its third outstanding Cretin-Derham Hall player in recent years to Notre Dame when wide receiver James Onwualu announced Thursday that he is going to sign with the Irish. Previously, wide receiver Michael Floyd picked Notre Dame over Minnesota and so did tackle Ryan Harris, and both started there. Some recruiting analysts consider Onwualu the top recruit in the state's 2013 class after he accounted for 1,092 yards and 17 touchdowns as a receiver/running back for the Raiders last season.

• University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler threw out the first pitch at the Metrodome last Saturday when Stony Brook, where he previously was president, lost to the Gophers 7-1. ... Meanwhile, several Gophers baseball players are sidelined because of injuries, including pitchers Lance Thonvold and Tom Windle, third baseman Kyle Geason and outfielder Trip Schultz.

• Mark Dienhart, former Gophers athletic director and now senior vice president at the University of St. Thomas, has been notified by NACDA (the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics) that he has been selected to receive a lifetime achievement for athletic fundraising at the convention in Dallas this summer. ... Dienhart's daughter, Carolyn, is the starting point guard for the St. Thomas women's basketball team that has qualified for the NCAA Division III Final Four this weekend in Holland, Mich.

• Norries Wilson, the former Gophers offensive lineman who was head football coach at Columbia for the past six seasons, has joined Rutgers as the running backs coach.

• Both South Dakota State's men's and women's basketball teams made the NCAA tournament with overtime victories in Summit League championship games.

• The Penticton Vees, led by eight Minnesotans, had their 42-game winning streak come to an end Saturday night with a 5-2 loss to Prince George in the British Columbia Hockey League, ending their regular season with a record of 54-4-0-2. The Vees will now play Chilliwack in the first round of the 2012 BCHL Fred Page Cup playoffs.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles 7 Bottom 7th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
Detroit 3 Bottom 8th Inning
Kansas City 1
Philadelphia - J. Williams 3:05 PM
Oakland - D. Pomeranz
Toronto - M. Stroman 3:05 PM
NY Yankees - C. Capuano
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
Colorado - E. Butler
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL 0:00
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 4th Qtr 3:13
Duke 47
Marshall 31 3rd Qtr
Akron 3
Hawaii 9 3rd Qtr 11:30
Colorado 21
Louisville 0 Delayed 15:00
FIU 0
North Carolina 10 1st Qtr 7:26
East Carolina 7
Army 0 1st Qtr 5:03
Wake Forest 7
Virginia 7 1st Qtr 4:44
(21) BYU 3
(6) Texas A&M 3 1st Qtr 6:41
SMU 0
Rutgers 0 1st Qtr 7:28
Navy 7
Central Mich 0 1st Qtr 6:00
Kansas 7
Utah 0 1st Qtr 3:59
Michigan 3
Florida 7 1st Qtr 11:18
(3) Alabama 7
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Indiana 0 1st Qtr 14:40
(18) Missouri 0
San Jose St 0 1st Qtr 14:35
Minnesota 0
Massachusetts 0 1st Qtr 15:00
Penn State 0
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Portland
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close