At 6-foot-6, 300 lbs., Minnesota Vikings franchise left tackle Matt Kalil doesn't look like a rookie when he steps out on the field. Off of it, he doesn't sound like one either.
"I think making mistakes is part of the job," Kalil said. "You just have to learn from it and grow. I'm going up against Jared Allen, there will be mistakes. It's how you get better from there that is important."
The No.3 overall pick (In the NFL Draft) along with late first round safety Harrison Smith are expected to start immediately for the Purple and Gold. Which means the pressure is on from day one of training camp.
"It's great to go against guys like that and tight end Kyle Rudolph," Smith said. "It will help to get me ready for the season."
While their presence is a welcome addition, for fullback Rhett Ellison, replacing fan favorite and 14-year Viking Jim Kleinsasser is a more daunting task.
"I love his game," Ellison said. "I was No. 40 in high school and respect his hard-nose style. He is a rarity in the game and one of a kind."
After social butterfly lifestyles in college, life in professional football can get a bit lonely. However, not for this group of rookies. This group features drafted teammates from USC, Notre Dame and Arkansas.
"It's great to have someone here that you grew up with," receiver Greg Childs said. "It makes the transition a lot easier."
Still, some college rivalries never die.
"The rivalries are fierce but we respect each others programs," Smith said. "I'll never root for USC but the guys I met from there are pretty good guys."
Of course USC and Notre Dame remains one of the premiere matchups each season in college football. In Mankato, Dylan Scott KSFY Sports