Ham & Cook With Plenty To Prove As Camp Opens
Rookies & First Year Players Begin Camp
MANKATO, MN — Football season is underway because, for the 52nd straight year, the Minnesota Vikings have begun training camp in Mankato.
Of course this is the final time they will be doing it on the campus of Minnesota State, and this has been a place that has been pretty good to Augustana’s C.J. Ham. He had some good games while he was here in college and of course last year he made the practice squad as an undrafted rookie free agent.
This season he’s potentially being tabbed to become the starting fullback, but it’s an adjustment for him. CJ played halfback throughout his college and high school career, so even though it’s his second year, it’s almost like he’s starting over again.
“I wouldn’t say I feel like a rookie but I’m a lot more confident in my ability from last year and I’m just excited to get out here and continue to learn.” Ham says.
Now only guys like Ham, who have yet to accrue a full season of NFL experience, or rookies had to practice today. That did mean we got our first look at the highly touted halfback Dalvin Cook, one of the guys C.J. could be leading for in the future.
He’s being expected to be one of the replacements for Adrian Peterson along with former Oakland Raider LaTavius Murray and he’s eager to make a first impression.
“I’m ready to come and play. I’m ready to come and try to help this organization win football games. That’s the main goal, that’s why they drafted me here so, you know, that’s what I’m willing to come show my teammates and everybody else. That’s what I’m trying to get out of this, trying to play some good football.” Cook says.
As for the rest of the Viking veterans, including Parkston native Riley Reiff, they all begin practice on Thursday.
One last note about C.J. Ham-his Twitter handle is @CJHam28. That was his college number at Augustana.
Well, if you haven’t noticed, 28 is available now that that Peterson guy is gone. I asked C.J. if he would maybe want to do a number change and he seems fine with keeping number 30! We’ll hear more from C.J. coming up tonight in sports at ten o’clock.