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 giving some locals, including a Gopher, their shots this week

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC Updated: May 15, 2014 - 1:22 PM

A former Gopher, two former Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs and a Bird Island, Mn., native who went to Northern State in Aberdeen, South Dakota are among the hopefuls the Vikings have invited to this week's three-day rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis.

Roland Johnson, a 6-1, 286-pound tackle for the Gophers, will try to turn heads at what has become a well-populated position since free agency began. Meanwhile, Minnesota-Duluth is sending its starting tight end, Jeremy Reierson, and a free safety, Jason Carlson, who was a transfer from Iowa State.

On the offensive line, Jon Caspers, the Bird Island native, comes in at just under 6-5 and about 305 pounds. He played left tackle at Northern State.

Also in for a tryout is Randall Carroll, a 5-10 cornerback from Sul Ross State in Texas.

The three-day camp started today and runs through Saturday.

Although the players invited to try out obviously are long shots, they do have a shot. This is how Marcus Sherels' career began in 2010. He made the team and has stayed on the team despite yearly attempts to find someone better. Last year, he set a franchise record with a 15.2-yard average per punt return.

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Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 2 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 9
Washington 0 FINAL
Miami 8
Boston 4 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Houston 3
Toronto - WP: C. Hynes 9 FINAL
Boston - LP: D. Hinojosa 7
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Norberto 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Whitley 0
St. Louis 5 FINAL
NY Mets 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Kansas City 4
LA Angels 1 FINAL
Oakland 4
San Diego 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox 2
Chicago WSox 12 FINAL
Seattle 4
Cleveland 2 FINAL
San Francisco 5
Milwaukee 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 11
Arizona 3 FINAL
Cincinnati 0
Texas 4 FINAL
Colorado 10
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
Baltimore 3
Detroit 78 FINAL
Charlotte 102
Philadelphia 93 FINAL
Washington 106
San Antonio 103 FINAL
Orlando 91
Indiana 87 FINAL
Boston 100
Brooklyn 100 FINAL
New York 98
Chicago 91 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Dallas 135 FINAL
Oklahoma City 131
Sacramento 111 FINAL
Houston 115
Toronto 113 FINAL
Minnesota 99
Denver 84 4th Qtr 0:16
Utah 97
LA Clippers 57 3rd Qtr 11:11
Portland 70
New Orleans 43 2nd Qtr 7:18
LA Lakers 35
Toronto 3 FINAL
Buffalo 4
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Edmonton 0 2nd Prd 7:36
Anaheim 4
Colorado 0 2nd Prd
San Jose 0
Loyola-Chicago 63 FINAL
ULM 62
UCLA 69 FINAL
Michigan 65
Temple 58 FINAL
West Virginia 66
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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 NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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