MANKATO, Minn. - Most undrafted rookie free agents are bit uncomfortable heading into training camp -- a new team, a new city, and competition at the highest level.
But when Detroit Lakes native Adam Thielen checked into training camp at Minnesota State University-Mankato, it was like coming home.
"It definitely makes it a lot easier on me, knowing where I'm going and knowing where things are located a little bit," said Thielen, who played college football on the very campus where the Minnesota Vikings hold their annual training camp.
In his four years with the Mavericks, Thielen caught 192 passes for 2,674 yards and 19 touchdowns. After a tryout following the 2013 NFL Draft, the Vikings offered Thielen a contract and now the 22-year-old rookie, is also playing the role of tour guide.
"I showed a couple of the guys around campus a little bit. It's not too big of a campus," he joked.
But the Division 2 standout, who ran a 4.49 40-yard dash in his pro day, wants to be more than just a gracious host. He started the push for a roster spot on Friday morning.
"I caught a ball, so it was nice to get the first catch of training camp under my belt," said Thielen. "Now, I am just excited to go show what I've got."
Thielen caught that ball in Blakeslee Stadium during a Friday morning walkthrough. He knows it's only the first step.
"Every day my goal is to get better and work on the little things and make sure that I'm improving because if I'm not everyone else is," Thielen said. "I am just going to go out there and see what happens."