The Minnesota Vikings Adam Thielen is living a storybook journey as an undrafted, small-college receiver who is taking the NFL by storm.
- [Narrator] Adam Thielen hasbecome a remarkable catch.
The unrecruited, undrafted,Minnesota born and raised
small college widereceiver is unrelenting,
overcoming great odds tomake his home state team
and jumping to the forefrontas the Vikings' lead receiver
and one of the NFL's elite playmakers.
- As a go-to receiver, what do you have
to earn from both quarterback and coach?
- Oh, trust. Trust iseverything in this league.
Trust is everything with your family,
with the Lord, all of that.Proving it every single day,
because even though I'vedone things in the past,
it doesn't matter. You'vegotta build that trust
with the new quarterback, withthe new offense coordinator
so they can trust youto go out there and do
the things that they ask, and be able
to make the plays in the game.
- Native Minnesotan, define for me
what makes a Minnesota-made guy?
- I think the biggest thing is just
kind of hard-nosed,tough, doesn't really care
about the circumstances,just gets it done.
When you have to livethrough a Minnesota winter,
you kinda learn how tojust fight through it,
not really worry about anything other than
just taking care of business that day
and figure it out the next day.
And how great the people are, it`s
a pretty special place to live.
- [Interviewer] Growingup as a Vikings fan,
you see the opportunity as remarkable?
- Honestly, I don't reallythink too much about it.
It's pretty cool to playfor my hometown team,
and things like that, but right now
it doesn't really feel really different
than playing high school football,
playing college football, it's just,
it's the same game, and I love to play it.
I love to be in that lockerroom with my teammates
and I'm not really thinkingabout anything else.
- The Division II Minnesota State
scholarship at that time was your
only choice, but Adam, hindsight now,
why was it the best choice?
- You know, it was the journey, it was
the path that God wanted me to take.
You know, it might nothave been my choice,
but it was God's visionfor me and, you know,
he has a plan for us and in that moment
I might have been alittle more frustrated,
but the more you know theLord, you know he's got
a reason or rhyme for everything,
and you've just got to trust it.
- [Interviewer] You gofrom practice squad,
to special teams, a role as receiver,
starting receiver, then a Pro Bowler.
When are you confident that the
skillset simply needs an opportunity?
- From day one. Rookiecamp. I think when I was
able to just come outhere and play football,
and beat guys that arefirst round draft picks,
and going against thestarters everyday in practice,
and feeling like 'Hey,I belong at this level,
and I'm competing, and playingwell against these guys,
why can't I do it against other teams?'
- [Interviewer] What's thegreatest challenge in that delay?
- I think it's somethingthe Lord's kind of
put on my plate, is being patient.
That was the hardest thing as a rookie,
as a practice guy, just to be patient.
Because I felt like I could play,
but I, looking back at it, I wasn't ready.
You know, in the moment I thought I was,
but I wasn't, and likeI said there was a plan
for me, and I kind of just was able to
stick with it and good things happened.
- Story book journeys, arethey earned or are they gifted?
- Ha. They are gifted. Recently,
my wife and I have kind of sat down just
to think about why we'rein the position we are,
and the Lord has put us in this position
to really give backand to spread his word,
and to do things for this community,
and always thinking abouthim, so you've gotta
give back and remember why you're there.
(Child crying) Absolutely. I'm excited,
I'm excited to see you before the game.
You throw the ball with mebefore the game too, play catch?
That would be awesome, ha ha.
- Do you struggle with perfectionism?
Do you have to? Coming from how
you have had to be self-sufficient.
- Yeah, I think it's kindof like a happy medium.
It's striving for perfection, but knowing
that it's not necessarily attainable.
Because there's a lotof times in my career
where I think I've gotten to where I am
because of wanting to be perfect,
and striving to be perfect, and,
you know, sometimes I get down on myself
because I'm not perfect,so it's kind of having
that happy medium notgetting too down on yourself,
but still holding yourself accountable
for your mistakes, or notperforming at your highest,
so being on the rightside of both of those.
- How has a self-sufficient underdog
acquired the need to follow a savior?
- Huh, that's a great question.
You know, that's somethingthat I think about a lot.
Because you can't do it on your own.
You know, when I was goingthrough early college days,
I felt something missing, but ever since I
gave my life to the Lord, I'vebeen able to fill that hole.
And it's an everydaybattle, but there's just
a sense of peace, and something that just
makes you feel like you're kind of whole.
- [Interviewer] So, Adam when we see
the purple or white nineteen, from this
point on, how can we pray for you?
- Pray to help me becomea better man of Christ.
I really, really havetaken ownership to try to
be the best person whethersomebody is looking,
or whether nobody is looking.
Whether I'm in front ofsixty thousand people,
or at my house, I want tomake the exact same decision
no matter what, and Ithink that's something
that's really helped mejust stay accountable,
and I've seen it, I've lived through it,
and I know what it can do tohave the Lord on your side.