D’Aundre Reed (credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Editor’s Note: Vikings’ second-year DE D’Aundre Reed will share the ups and downs of being in the NFL for this season-long project — from working toward more playing time, to just getting used to Minnesota.

For the inaugural journal entry, let’s just start with “Who is D’Aundre Reed?

That is, let’s learn more about the soft-spoken giant who can make backflips look this easy.

With six siblings, the 24-year-old from Moreno Valley, Calif., appreciates having his own space – no nosy roommates – in downtown Minneapolis.

But that doesn’t mean the second-year pro isn’t excited for some possible family time this weekend as the Vikings take on San Francisco at noon at Mall of America field.

Full Interview Audio Of Journal Entry No. 1

“They are a big part of me,” he said, as his mother and father both work in real estate. “I’m actually trying to bring them out here this weekend. I just put the tickets down.”

The 6-foot-4-inch, 261-pound defensive end was a seventh-round draft pick for the Vikings in 2011 – No. 215 overall – after spending five years at Arizona. He spent the 2011 season inactive.

Splitting time with two other talented defensive ends taught the sociology major a bit about patience. Playing for Minnesota is no different, being behind the likes of Jared Allen and Brian Robison.

“Each chance you get out there, take advantage of an opportunity to put it on tape, because the tape don’t lie,” he said.

Football’s violence has also deepened his faith.

“With this game, you see the emotional ups and downs, and guys getting hurt,” he said. “Just trusting God and knowing I’m in his plan no matter what happens – he gives me peace of mind. It’s a lot of pressure going out and performing every day.”

With a 35-inch vertical leap, scouts regarded Reed a “project” coming out of the NFL combine — an athlete who just needed some refining of his raw talent.

So while his football goals are simple right now – racking up a sack, as he got in for five plays against Jacksonville and for four plays at Indianapolis – he’s aware of a life post-pro football.

“I may pursue real estate with my parents, and do graphic design as well,” he said. “I was actually messing around with (graphic design) yesterday in my free time.”

When not at Winter Park, he’s feeding his Thai-food fix. Roat Osha, Lotus, King & I – you name it, and he’s probably sampled their cuisine.

Not many appreciated last year’s warm winter more than the Sun Belt-native. And when the snow does fall, you can find Reed gaming inside.

“I’ll play Xbox with my buddies back home – ‘Call of Duty,’ ‘Halo’ and ‘Gears of War,'” he said.

And finally, what gets Reed from point A to point B? A much-beloved Jeep SRT8.

“It’s 420 horses, and it’s four-wheel-drive for the winter,” he said. “When the family comes, I don’t have to worry about shoving them in the back.”

Comments (3)