By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It might not have been the splashiest free agent signing, but it was an important one.

The signing was valuable for the Minnesota Vikings, who needed offensive line depth. And for Tom Compton, the Rosemount native, coming back home was too good to pass up.

“Oh man. Coming back here, I think they’ll probably come out and it’ll bring back some of those memories,” Compton said. “Obviously going to state semifinals, playing in the old (Hubert H. Humphrey) Metrodome, you never forget that kind of stuff, so it’s good to be back.”

Compton already has a familiarity with the new Vikings quarterback, Kirk Cousins. Compton and Cousins were both drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2012 and played together until 2015. It’s a big reason he’s here.

“Me and Kirk definitely have a history together, playing together,” Compton said. “There’s a lot of carry-over. Especially when it comes to cadence or verbiage and stuff like that. You kind of pick up on that pretty quickly.”

Which is what Compton is being asked to do now in camp — pick things up pretty quickly. With injuries to Pat Elflein and Nick Easton, Compton has been getting a lot of work with the first-team offense at left guard. It gives him a chance to show coaches what they got when they signed, and what they can expect if he has to play.

“Not many guys get the opportunity to play in the NFL, and even when you get there, you have a 1-in-32 shot of being on your hometown team, and I’m just trying to take the opportunity and run with it, but definitely grateful to be here,” Compton said.

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