He could play the game, was part of four straight state championships at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis while playing for his father. Lawrence McKenzie then went on to a career with the Gophers and played professionally — much of that time overseas — until and injury forced an early retirement.
Tyler Johnson is a two-sport standout at Minneapolis North High School. He can play some football and some basketball, and colleges are calling for him to play both. What makes him so special? He’s a high-end athlete who loves to compete.
He knows it’s his turn. The truth is the Gophers will probably rotate the running back position starting Thursday night against TCU. But if there is going to be a featured back, it’s Rodrick Williams.
The Gophers are no different than the Vikings. Yes, they need everyone to play well. But it really helps if your quarterback is good. Mitch Leidner is now a seasoned veteran preparing for another shot at TCU, motivated by the memories of a year ago.
Amir Pinnix is a testament to what the game teaches young people — coming from the inner city of Newark, New Jersey to the University of Minnesota, and now in corporate America.
While Minnesota Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman was at work at TCF Bank Stadium last week with his team, his son JD was helping defending state champion Eden Prairie High School beat Totino-Grace — and he hardly missed a play. “[I] had our game in one ear and his game in the other ear on the radio, and then had it streamed on my computer,” Rick Spielman said.
Last year, Everson Griffen got a new contract with the Vikings, giving him a starting spot on the team with the departure of linebacker Jared Allen.
One player who played well on turf in Minnesota is Mike Kafka.The former Northwestern quarterback is battling for the third-team quarterback spot, remembering a day from his past when he came to town and dominated a Saturday afternoon at the Metrodome.
One of the interesting highlights to an NFL training camp: The new guys, the ones you have not heard of making a splash. For the Vikings this week, it’s tight end MyCole Pruitt. He got his chance to play early, to prove when given an opportunity he can make a play.
Training camp isn’t usually such a tough place for competition among the special teams, but Cullen Loeffler says he understands and accepts the challenge.
On a hot summer day, they were outside talking hockey at Minneapolis’ TCF Bank Stadium Wednesday for the official prelude to an outdoor NHL game in Minnesota. “This is an unbelievable day for us,” Wild owner Craig Leopold said. “We have worked really, really hard in the last seven, eight years to try to get an outdoor game for our market, for our fans.”
The University of Minnesota football team is back with the same type of optimism as the Vikings. The Gophers officially open fall camp on Friday, with the team’s season opener against No. 2-ranked TCU looming on Sept. 3 under the lights at TCF Bank Stadium.
At an early hour on a near perfect Saturday morning, it seems like the entire Minnesota biking community came together for the annual “Tour De ‘Tonka” ride.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer likes big guys. On defense, that means people who can stop the run. Sharrif Floyd is a 300-pound defensive tackle that they want to just that.
One reason the Vikings drafted Trae Waynes in the first round is that they think he’s a smart football player, but he also needs to be a versatile one. Though it’s been a baptism by fire, so far Waynes hasn’t been burned.
Just a four-hour drive from his hometown in Minneapolis, Rashad Vaughn is making a name for himself at the Milwaukee Bucks. The Robbinsdale Cooper High graduate was drafted in the first round after just one year in college.
The Vikings are starting to feel the end of their summer days, reporting to training camp on Saturday in Mankato. One of the interesting players to watch is Kyle Rudolph, if he can stay healthy.
On make-or-break player heading into his second year is Zach LaVine. WCCO’s Mike Max got a chance to talk with LaVine at a basketball camp to find out if LaVine can take that next step into super-stardom.
J Robinson is the University of Minnesota wrestling coach committed to some written in stone philosophies, so much so he believes what he teaches is applicable to all sports. So this summer, he’s trying an experiment and leaving his arena for another kind of sport.
The National Senior Games are coming to a close. It’s part entertainment, part inspiration. Mike Max found both at a basketball tournament at the University of St. Thomas where the minimum age is 75.
From Hopkins to Broadway, with a stop at Fargo in between. Marcus Williams was a two-sport star in high school, decided to pursue football and is now a member of the New York Jets.
Among the interesting studies at this week’s National Senior Games is the spirit. Many competitors are north of 60 years old, but they want two things: To compete hard and stay in athletic shape.
There’s only one more chance to get Minnesota Twins’ second baseman Brian Dozier to the All-Star Game. He didn’t make the starting or reserve rosters, so his teammates are stepping up, on of all things a bulldozer. The team brought it in to encourage fans to vote for Dozier one final time.
Brock Boeser grew up in Burnsville knowing he wanted to be a hockey player. That’s nothing new for a Minnesota kid, but he grew into his dream. Boeser was the only Minnesotan taken in the first round, by Vancouver, in the NHL Draft.
Hank Goff was a standout on the Minnetonka state championship football team in high school. He went onto South Dakota State to play football, but it didn’t work out academically. That’s when his life changed.