MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Jake Wieneke went to Maple Grove High School and South Dakota State. He wants to stay in the Midwest by making it with the Minnesota Vikings.
“It’s been amazing. I mean, it’s been such a blessing to just be out here with the Vikings,” Wieneke said. “It’s such a great organization, such a great team, and it’s been fun just coming to work and competing every day.”
That made last week extra special for the hometown product — a touchdown against Seattle in a fourth-quarter rally.
“That was awesome, man. That game was so much fun, and to go down and win in the fashion that we did was pretty special,” he said.
He knows how to catch a football. He did that plenty at South Dakota State.
“I think when you know you’re not getting the ball as much, you’re wondering like, I got to make sure to take advantage of these opportunities, I got to catch everything. But I guess when you get the ball a lot, you kind of know you’re going to get a lot of opportunities and you know you just go out there and play,” he said.
In the opportunities are fewer and father between NFL, which Wieneke knows. Each pass can be defining — if it ends up in your hands.
“The more you get out there, kind of the more reps you get, the more confidence you get,” he said. “And when you play with confidence, it’s a lot more fun and you play a lot better as well.”
He is not alone on this journey. Back at Maple Grove, they pay attention and they care.
“I had a lot of family and friends there, so that made it pretty special. And just getting to see them after the game and just give them a hug, it was pretty awesome,” he said. “It’s been amazing just how many people have been supporting me and texting me, encouraging me, praying for me.”
It all matters a lot, because this is the opportunity of a lifetime.
“Since I was little, I dreamed of playing in the NFL, especially for the Vikings, so I mean, it’s just been a dream come true,” he said.