Craig: Former Gophers WR Decker living the dream in Denver

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 31, 2014 - 9:27 AM

Standout wide receiver. Peyton Manning’s BFF. Sex symbol. Life is good for Minnesotan Eric Decker.

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– A young woman with neck-wrenching beauty was posing as a reporter when she walked straight up to Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker at Tuesday’s Super Bowl XLVIII media day and asked him, point-blank, for a date later that night.

“Sorry,” said the Cold Spring, Minn., native, pointing to the hardware on his left ring finger, “I’m married. But I do have some cousins.”

Yes, it’s good to be Eric Decker. His cup — heck, his entire 26-year-old life — runneth over, and then some.

Married to stunning 25-year-old country music starlet Jessie James? Check.

Co-star with James on the E! network’s “Eric & Jessie: Game On”? Check.

Photo spread with James in this month’s issue of GQ? Check.

Decent looks, at least for those who are into the whole square-jawed, full-head-of-hair, Adonis thing? Check.

Highest Wonderlic intelligence test score (43) at the 2010 NFL scouting combine? Check.

Firstborn child en route at the end of March? Check.

BFF to Peyton Manning and a member of the AFC championship team that will play at MetLife Stadium on Sunday? Check and mate.

“I talked to my wife about this, and these last two years have been just unbelievable,” said Decker, the former Gopher and third-round draft pick of the Broncos in 2010. “It’s almost surreal, and after this game, if we are successful, I think I’ll look back and just kind of soak everything in of how lucky and how blessed I’ve been to have so many great things happen in my life in such a short time.”

He’ll also spend that time as an unrestricted free agent coming off a season in which he posted 11 touchdown catches and career highs in catches (87) and yards receiving (1,288) on the first 600-point offense in NFL history.

Yes, it’s definitely good to be Eric Decker. It pretty much has always been that way, too.

Minnesota guy

Born with an athletic gift for multiple sports, he was a decorated three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball at Rocori High School. His 2,156 yards and 28 touchdowns earned him a spot with Glen Mason’s Gophers, where he also was good enough to play outfield for the baseball team.

“My dream was always to be a professional athlete,” Decker said. “Whether it would be football or baseball, I didn’t know at that point in high school. I became more passionate about football in high school. Plus, the lifestyle, I thought football was better suited to me because in baseball, you’re on the road all the time and away from your family.”

The Milwaukee Brewers thought enough of his baseball skills to draft him 1,178th overall in the 39th round in 2008. He didn’t sign. A year later, the Twins thought even more of him, taking him 822nd overall in the 27th round. Again, he didn’t sign.

A year later, the Broncos took him 87th overall in the third round.

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