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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