The Minnesota Vikings will arrive in Mankato, Minn. for training camp on Thursday afternoon with practice set to begin on Friday at 10:30 a.m.
They've held training camp at Minnesota State University-Mankato for nearly 50 years, but this year, the Vikings will have new lodging now that the aging Gage Residence Community has been demolished.
TOP THREE ROOKIES SIGN
After Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman landed three first-round draft picks back in April, the team finally announced Thursday that top pick defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd has signed.
Floyd is the highest drafted defensive tackle by the Vikings since Kevin Williams (9th overall) in 2009. During his three seasons with the Florida Gators, Floyd recorded 115 tackles, 26.0 TFL and 4.5 sacks.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (25th) and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (29th) were also signed Thursday.
Rhodes earned first-team All-ACC honors while at Florida State and finished the 2012 season with 7 passes broken up and 3 interceptions.
Patterson led the Southeastern Conference in his only season at Tennessee averaging 158.43 all-purpose yards per game.
FLOYD TO 'CARRY THE TORCH'
Sharrif Floyd could anchor the defensive line for years to come. While some predicted he'd go in the top five, even after slipping to 23, Floyd says the Vikings defensive line is a perfect fit.
"I knew going in to the draft I was going to the club that wanted me the most. This is d-line heaven, and I want to carry the torch" Floyd said.
Floyd is now a member of a team known defensive linemen, but there is another reason why Minnesota may be the perfect fit. Floyd wants to conquer the great outdoors, and FOX 9's Jim Rich met up with him at none other than Mills Fleet Farm.
Intrigued by the challenge of hunting, Floyd loaded up on archery equipment, but first, the Philadelphia native and Florida Gator alum took FOX 9 to Seven Steakhouse for a taste of the east coast.
"I'm going to eat to live, but contain what you put on this table, because I'm not about to be 350, 360 [pounds]. You're not doing that to me."
He tries crab cakes at every restaurant he visits, but for Floyd, Seven's adaptation takes the cake.
Floyd then did an archery demonstration that even legendary Vikings coach and avid hunter Bud Grant would have been proud of.
If you're are a deer watching Floyd's career take off this year, it could be a short season for you.
The Vikings 2013 season opener is in Detroit on Sept. 8.
Countdown to camp: Young defensive backs ready to get physical: http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/22865463/countdown-to-camp-young-defensive-backs-ready-to-get-physical