Meet the 2018 Vikings: Fun facts about your favorite players

Football is back — or at least preseason games. With that comes the inundation of statistics — who ran for how many yards, in what round was player drafted, what were a player’s stats in college and so on.

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Since you’ll be getting enough football stats about the Minnesota Vikings to fill any void you might have, we thought we’d take a look at the lighter side of things.

We scoured through the Vikings media guide and came up with some different and interesting facts about a number of players. While your friends are dishing out Kirk Cousins‘ passing yards, you can enlighten them on which player appeared in a “Sharknado” movie, who is a published author, who was inducted into a Hall of Fame this past offseason and much more.

(And if you’re saying, hey, you’ve done this before. Well, yeah, we did both in 2016 and 2017. But not one fact from those editions appear in this year’s. So read on and get even more knowledge!)

Read on, enjoy and be prepared to dazzle your buddies with your inside knowledge of Vikings players.

 

Mackensie Alexander: Born to Haitian immigrants in South Florida who picked tomatoes and oranges to provide for the family.

Josh Andrews: Known as “Juice” during his career at Oregon State.

Ade Aruna: Moved to the United States in 2010 from Nigeria to play basketball. Competed in soccer, judo and gymnastics in Nigeria before coming to America.

Anthony Barr: Father, Tony Brooks, was a fourth-round draft pick (RB) by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 out of Notre Dame. Has 3 uncles who also played in the NFL.

Blake Bell: Earned the nickname the “Belldozer” in college after being featured in packages specifically designed to take advantage of his ability to produce in goal-line and short-yardage situations.

Tashawn Bower: Vikings teammate Danielle Hunter hosted Bower on his collegiate visit to LSU.

Tom Compton: Had a part in the movie “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” playing the role of a reporter stationed in front of the White House.

Tyler Conklin: Played basketball for Division II Northwood University for one year before transferring to Central Michigan to play football.

Kirk Cousins: Published his first book, Game Changers: Faith, Football, & Finding Your Way, in 2013.

Stefon Diggs: Going back to school in the offseason to complete his degree in African American studies with a minor in communications, he is two semesters shy of earning his degree.

Pat Elflein: Boyhood friend and high school classmate in Pickerington, Ohio of former Michigan tight end and fellow 2017 NFL draftee Jake Butt (Denver), who was roommates with Vikings 2017 fourth-round pick linebacker Ben Gedeon while at Michigan.

Anthony Harris: Supports and mentors an AAU girls basketball team, Team Loaded, and owns a Cyrotherapy business in Richmond, Va.

Caleb Jones: Father, Robert, and uncle, Jeff Blake, played a combined 270 games in the NFL. His brother, Zay, is a wide receiver for Buffalo.

Jayron Kearse: Nephew of former NFL standout defensive end Jevon Kearse and a cousin of former NFL cornerback Phillip Buchanon.

Cedric Lang: Played four years of basketball at UTEP and used his fifth year of eligibility to play football.

David Morgan: Aspires to a career in high school coaching.

Latavius Murray: Got engaged during the 2018 offseason to Shauntay Skanes, who is currently enlisted in the Navy. Also participated in the NFL’s 2018 USO Tour throughout Italy and Germany.

Terence Newman: Inducted into the Kansas State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018.

Ifeadi Odenigbo: Is the first member of his family born in the United States; his parents emigrated from Nigeria. He did not play football until 10th grade.

Reilly Reiff: As a high school wrestler had a 121-1 record and won three state titles.

Horace Richardson: Aspires to a career with the Environmental Protection Agency after his playing career.

Brian Robison: Has fished in pro-am tournaments during his offseasons and competes in the Texas Team Trail Bass Championships.

Andrew Sendejo: Plays guitar and piano.

Marcus Sherels: Aspires to attend law school after his playing career.

Trevor Siemian: Became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs in first career road start (at Cincinnati, Sept. 26, 2016).

Kyle Sloter: Had a job offer with Ashford Advisors, a financial company in his hometown of Atlanta before deciding to pursue a career in the NFL.

Jack Tocho: Son of Kenyan immigrants, he has traveled to Africa several times.

Trae Waynes: Has been friends since his youth with Chargers running back Melvin Gordon.

Eric Wilson: Enjoys skateboarding in his free time.

Kendall Wright: Played on Baylor’s basketball team as a freshman.