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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Notebook: Treadwell gets endorsement from best receiver in NFL history, Jerry Rice

By Derek Wetmore

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – New Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was once considered the top receiving talent in the country. A gruesome leg injury changed his career trajectory.

Vikings GM Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer both raved about Treadwell on Thursday, but that’s to be expected.

The former Ole Miss Rebel has another powerful voice in his corner, though.

Apparently Jerry Rice thinks highly of the 20-year-old.

“I like what I see on the football field. Pretty big body that can run good routes, that can position himself and also make plays,” Rice told NFL Network in a recent interview.

Treadwell stood out as a sophomore at Ole Miss, when he was named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the country’s best receiver. The leg injury set him back, but he still turned some heads as a junior before making the decision to turn pro.

He’s the all-time leading pass catcher at Ole Miss, with 202 career receptions, which ranks 7th in SEC history, according to the Vikings.

“I think the most important thing is surround yourself with the right individuals,” Rice said, when asked to give advice to the youngster. “I think the young guys, that’s exactly what they need to do. They need to latch onto a veteran, because that veteran is going to show them how to be a professional on the football field and also off the football field.”

Treadwell said he appreciated the kind words, although he doesn’t have a personal relationship with Rice.

“Just to hear from him, it means a lot. It means that the hard work is paying off and he really realized that I have a chance,” Treadwell said Thursday night on a conference call with reporters. “It means a lot to me to hear it from him, you know, one of the best to ever do it. I’ve just got to keep working hard and stay humble and stay grounded and stay for the team.”

Laquon Treadwell congrats on being selected by the Minnesota Viking!#truewarrior

— Jerry Rice (@JerryRice) April 29, 2016

Early chemistry

Treadwell also revealed on the conference call that he already has a friendship with Vikings second-year wide receiver Stefon Diggs from his days at Maryland.

“I actually know Stefon a bit and we talk all the time,” Treadwell said of the guy he’ll be expected to line up with as the team’s top receiving options.

“Just from playing college football. We kept in touch, even going through this process. I just sent him a text, not knowing I was going to be playing with him, a couple weeks ago. I was just like, ‘Whatsup, how’s the league?’ and he was just like, ‘Man, you’ll see, man. It’s an amazing thing,’” Treadwell said.

“[Diggs] just gave me some good words of advice. When I went to visit them, I watched his film and I seen him making plays all over the field and I shot him a text again just like, ‘I see you doing your thing, I just watched your film.’ He was like, ‘I appreciate it man, your time’s coming.’

“It’s been good vibes from him and good positive energy from him. I’m glad that we already got a connection in a sense,” Treadwell said.

No Jack?

When the Vikings were on the clock with the 23rd pick in the draft, standout UCLA linebacker Myles Jack was still available, and there were likely a few Vikings fans who would have liked to see the team make it an all-Bruins linebacking corps by pairing Jack with Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks.

Perhaps head coach Mike Zimmer could be counted in that group, as well.

Zimmer strolled to the podium Thursday night minutes after the Vikings selected Treadwell, and just moments after GM Rick Spielman finished addressing the media.

Zimmer said sort of off-handedly that the team had “almost” taken a defensive player. A reporter asked him if he’d clarify that, to which he responded: “I always fight for defensive guys, you know.”

Like, maybe a certain UCLA linebacker?

“Hmm. I don’t know,” Zimmer said with a smirk on his face.

Of course, Zimmer wouldn’t comment definitively on something like that, just minutes after the Vikings made their pick and Jack was still on the board. As it turned out, Jack stayed available all the way through the first round.

Someone was happy with the pick.

Great pick Viking nation! Laquon Treadwell set your mind on winning a Championship son!

— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) April 29, 2016

Move over, Riley Curry?

Laquon Treadweel had his daughter, Madison, with him on stage after being selected at No. 23. Madison also joined Treadwell for his post-selection interview with Deion Sanders. You can watch that interview here.

Precious memories, enjoy every minute of it babe girl ? pic.twitter.com/7B8YCZ2W37 — Laquon Treadwell (@SuccessfulQuon) April 26, 2016

The post Notebook: Treadwell gets endorsement from best receiver in NFL history, Jerry Rice appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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