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Minnesota Native Defies Odds to Play for the Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings Adam Thielen is living a storybook journey as an undrafted, small-college receiver who is taking the NFL by storm. Read Transcript


(Dramatic music)

- [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.

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