Vikings fullback C.J. Ham is headed to Orlando for Sunday's Pro Bowl.
Because San Francisco's Kyle Juszczyk — the only fullback to see more snaps than Ham in 2019 — is preparing for the Super Bowl in Miami, Ham was named to his first All-Star game as an alternate, according to his agency IFA.
Ham, a 26-year-old Duluth Denfeld graduate, is the fourth Vikings player to make the Pro Bowl, joining defensive end Danielle Hunter, safety Harrison Smith and running back Dalvin Cook.
In his fourth season with the Vikings, he played a career-high 359 snaps while lead blocking for the NFL's sixth-ranked rushing attack. Ham, a special teams mainstay, earned a pivotal role on offense under Gary Kubiak and Kevin Stefanski, which is unlikely to change in 2020 as coach Mike Zimmer has said he wants the same system despite Stefanski's exit to Cleveland.
Loons sign homegrown player, add assistant
Minnesota United has signed its first homegrown player and completed its coaching staff.
It signed from its academy 15-year-old goalkeeper Fred Emmings from St. Paul and officially added Orlando City assistant coach Sean McAuley to fill new technical director Mark Watson's former job.
Emmings is 6-5 and spent two weeks training with Luxembourg's Under-16 national team. He previously played with the St. Paul Blackhawks Soccer Club before he joins United's Under-15 academy.
McAuley is an Englishman who played professionally for 15 years. He coached in England for seven seasons, then spent six seasons with MLS's Portland Timbers and the previous two at Orlando City. He was part of the Timbers' 2015 MLS Cup championship team.
Scalia honored again
Gophers guard Sara Scalia of Stillwater was named Big Ten women's basketball freshman of the week for the second time this season.
Scalia, who is sharing this week's honors with Indiana's Mackenzie Holmes, averaged 18.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals as the Gophers split two games.
• Wisconsin reclaimed the top spot in the United States College Hockey Online women's poll after the Gophers lost to Ohio State on Friday. The Badgers have 143 points and eight first-place votes to the second-ranked Gophers' 138 points and six first-place votes. The two rivals play Friday and Saturday in Madison.
• St. John's left tackle Ben Bartch will play for the South team in the Senior Bowl on Saturday in Mobile, Ala. Bartch, who was named the MIAC's top lineman in 2019, is the only Division III player among the 118 roster spots.
• The St. Paul Saints signed righthander Daniel Minor, their sixth player signed this offseason.