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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Getting to Know: Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: May 14, 2014 - 8:51 AM

Name: Jerick McKinnon

Position: RB

School: Georgia Southern


Scored the game-winning touchdown against Florida last year in the school’s first win over a BCS team in Florida

Finished with 3,899 career rushing yards and 42 rushing touchdowns in four years as a quarterback and running back; also played cornerback

Three-time Iron Works Dedication Award, given to the strongest player on the team, and a member of the Georgia Southern Football’s Leadership Council

Selected as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first-team All-State quarterback selection and named 7 AAAA Player of the Year at Sprayberry High in Marietta, Ga. (same school as Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd)

His brother, Lester Norwood, was a defensive back at Florida from 1998-2002

On if he made contact with the Vikings during the process

I got to talk to them at the Combine with the area scout, got a chance to talk the running backs coach, and got a really good feel for them. It is definitely one of the places that I was wishing that I’d have a chance to play, coming in and learning Adrian Peterson and the other running backs, just soaking in all of their knowledge like a sponge and adding it to my game.

On if he’s been a fan of running back Adrian Peterson

For a long time. Just the he plays the game with passion and his physicality. He is one of the best in the game, I think he’s the best in the game as a matter of fact and it is a dream come true to come in and watch him and learn from a guy like that.

On if he thinks he can lessen Peterson’s load

I think I can come in and contribute to the team whether that is at running back or return man on special teams. However they want to use me, I will give them 110% and do my best to push myself. As a rookie, I want to come in to push other guys and I hope it all works out for good.


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