Former Gophers standout safety Brock Vereen signed with the Vikings as a practice squad player and arrived at Winter Park on Thursday, just two days after being released by the Chicago Bears.

Vereen was looking for a team where he could be comfortable and said "This is definitely a place for that."

"It hasn't really hit me yet. I've been a Viking for only a couple hours now," Vereen said. "So after this very first practice, I'm sure it will settle in."

Vereen played in all 16 games for the Bears last season, totaling 39 tackles, one deflection and one interception. He played in each of Chicago's three losses this season before being waived.

The second-year safety was a fourth-round pick out of Minnesota in the 2014 NFL draft. He compiled 55-plus tackles in each of his final three seasons with the Gophers and had four career interceptions.

"The information that was relayed [by the Bears] is we're making changes and you guys are part of those changes. That being said, I couldn't be happier here," Vereen said. "It was kind of a blur, thankfully. You didn't have time to feel sorry for yourself. I was on a flight here and here I am."

Vereen didn't have much time to look through the team's playbook early Thursday, but said he's eager to be a part of coach Mike Zimmer's defense.

"I've been told that the opportunity is there," he said. "I have to do my part and come to work every day."