Former Gustavus Adolphus College football player Ryan Hoag has signed a contract with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are currently in pre-season training camp in Mankato, Minnesota. Hoag, a wide receiver and Minneapolis, Minnesota native, is hoping to fulfill a childhood dream of playing for the Vikings.
The Vikings will be the third NFL team Hoag has played for in his professional career. His dream of playing professional football came true when he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He was later cut by the Raiders in training camp and ended the 2003 season on the practice squad of the New York Giants. On Friday, July 23rd the Vikings announced that they had signed the former Gustavus wide receiver. The Minneapolis kid that grew up with the dream of playing for the Vikings has gotten his chance.
Hoag’s college coach, Jay Schoenebeck, was excited to hear that Hoag had signed with the Vikings. “I am very excited for Ryan to have the opportunity to play for the home team (Minnesota Vikings). He gained valuable experience with the Raiders and Giants that will no doubt give him more confidence in training camp, ” Schoenebeck commented. “Ryan must stay healthy and take advantage of every opportunity given to him. He is capable of playing at that level, but the challenge will be to do it on a consistent basis for the Viking coaching staff.”
Hoag graduated from Gustavus in 2003 and ended his career as the program’s all-time leader in yards receiving with 2,232 and touchdown catches with 29. He also holds school records for blocked kicks in a season with three (2002) and touchdown catches in a season with 14 (2001). He is the first player at Gustavus to compile over 2,000 yards receiving in a career.
The Vikings completed their fourth day of training camp in Mankato on Tuesday. The training camp will end on August 19th and only then will we know if the dream of suiting up for the purple and gold will come true for this Golden Gustie.
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