DeGeare Working Toward Next Accomplishment

Posted May 19, 2010

Vikings rookie 5th round draft choice Chris DeGeare walked off the field with a smile on Tuesday, having just finished his first Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice in the NFL. That’s quite an accomplishment. But it was another accomplish from earlier in the week that DeGeare was talking about as he left the Winter Park practice fields.

DeGeare graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Sociology earlier this week, becoming the first member of his family to earn a college degree.

“I’m the first person in my family to graduate (from college),” DeGeare explained after practice on Tuesday. “So it’s a big deal, especially graduating from a school as prestigious as Wake Forest University. My family wanted to watch me walk the stage and then celebrate with me. It was a big deal for us and something I won’t ever forget.”

In order to walk the state on graduation day with his classmates, DeGeare had to arrive at OTAs a touch later than the rest of his teammates. The Vikings of course obliged and DeGeare hustled to Minnesota following the graduation ceremonies.

With the excitement and pride of graduation day now behind, DeGeare embarks on another journey looking for another accomplishment – trying to make an NFL team. A versatile OL who stands at 6-4, 335 pounds, DeGeare has a good chance to carve a niche for himself on this roster. Veteran OL Artis Hicks, who could play all 4 G and T positions, left the Vikings via free agency, leaving vacant an important role along the offensive line.

DeGeare spent most of his college career at Wake Forest playing G. And with his body structure and size, G seems to be the best fit. But he moved from G to LT for the 2009 season, displaying the type of versatility that made him an attractive prospect for the Vikings.

Whether he’ll play G or T or both for the Vikings remains to be seen. That determination will be made after OTAs, minicamps and training camp. For now, DeGeare is focused on adjusting to life in the NFL.

“The pace of practice is a lot faster than it was in college, and even faster than it was at rookie minicamp,” DeGeare conceded. “You have to hustle from drill to drill. You’re picking up tackling dummies and medicine balls, carrying stuff for veterans, stuff like that. So it’s work but I’m thrilled to be here and can’t wait to work hard to make this team.”

One might consider making the roster on a team that has 10 Pro Bowlers and advanced to the NFC Championship Game in 2009 quite the accomplishment. But DeGeare has already proved he’s not adverse to accomplishment.