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.


Reynaud moved to running back

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings offense, Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor, Percy Harvin Updated: April 2, 2010 - 12:28 PM

As a senior at Hanville High School in Boutte, La., Darius Reynaud rushed for 1,889 yards on 236 carries and 37 touchdowns as his team went 15-0 and won the state title. Reynaud remained a threat both running and catching the ball during his three seasons at West Virginia.

Thus it should come as no surprise that after two seasons as a wide receiver with the Vikings, Reynaud has been shifted to running back. That likely puts him third on the depth chart behind Adrian Peterson and Albert Young.

"I've spent time at running back all my life, so it's nothing different," Reynaud told KFAN Radio this week. "It's a different route going from receiver to running back so I have to learn the protections, all the plays, so it's something new."

The move might be another indication that the Vikings aren't going to sign a veteran running back to replace Chester Taylor. Minnesota did try to sign LaDainian Tomlinson -- he ended up with the New York Jets -- but apparently the Vikings aren't going to pursue someone such as former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook. 

Reynaud's versatility was on display during practices last offseason when he was used in various packages that were really designed for Percy Harvin. This put Reynaud in the Vikings' version of the Wildcat at times.

Reynaud became only the 10th West Virginia player with more than 3,000 all-purpose yards, including 1,550 receiving, 1,126 on returns and 410 rushing.

The Vikings, meanwhile, opened their offseason program for first-, second- and third-year players this past Monday.  Players with four or more seasons of experience will begin their portion of the program on April 12.

Media has not had access to the players so far so it's not possible to say exactly who is there and who isn't but it  sounds as if Harvin is not at Winter Park. Keep in mind -- and this is important -- these programs are voluntary and while players often have contract bonuses tied into being in attendance their participation is not required. The only thing that is mandatory is the three-day minicamp the Vikings likely will conduct in June.

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