Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph hosted his 6th annual ProCamp. This year's camp was at Providence Academy for the second straight year and had the largest amount of attendees with close to 1,000 youth, ages 6 to 14.
By Kabrione Coleman, For Vikings.com
PLYMOUTH, Minn. – With Verizon Vikings Training Camp just around the corner, Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph decided to get in some early skill work.
Earlier this week, Rudolph hosted his 6th annual ProCamp. This year's camp was at Providence Academy for the second straight year and had the largest amount of attendees with close to 1,000 youth, ages 6 to 14.
"My first camp, it was like a 10 by 10 square. We were all right here. I think I could've high-fived every kid as we stood here and talked a little bit about football, so it is amazing to see how far this has come since our first camp in 2013," Rudolph said.
The two-day camp offered youth the opportunity to gain tips and knowledge from Rudolph, coaches, and special guests like Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen. Throughout the camp there are fundamental football skill stations, contests and games.
"Football at its true fundamental core," said Rudolph. "We've got some quarterback drills, some receiver drills, play some games, find out who the fastest camper is in each division, and just most importantly have fun."
Griffen brought his distinct energy to the camp.
"We have had a few different special guests over the years," said Rudolph. "Chad Greenway, Teddy Bridgewater, Harrison [Smith], now Everson coming out this year, so you know it's awesome having their support. To have the opportunity to have multiple Pro Bowlers out here for these kids is really cool. Everson does unbelievable work for this community and is trying to do even more, so it was awesome to have him out today."
Meeting Rudolph and Griffen were definitely experiences that the campers surely won't forget. Rudolph was able to interact with each camper during the two days.
"There might be 1,000 kids across Providence campus, but not a single one is out of place," Rudolph said. "[ProCamps does] a great job of making sure that I get around. Every single kid will either catch a pass or throw me a pass, get a handoff or will interact in some way with me, so it's pretty incredible when you think there is 1,000 kids out here [for] two days."
ProCamps hosts camps all over the country, and it is especially important for Rudolph to be involved with the company that started in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Sean Rowland, Vice President of Operations for ProCamps, has known Rudolph since he was in diapers, and their relationship was an integral part in the start of Rudolph's involvement with ProCamps.
"Five years ago when we did the first camp we had about 150 kids, so that really speaks to Kyle and the legacy that he has built in the Minnesota area and the good he does in the community for all these kids to want to come out," said Rowland.
Each camper received a souvenir autograph from Rudolph, a camp team photo with Rudolph, and a limited-edition Kyle Rudolph ProCamp Nike T-shirt.
"It is a ton of fun," Rudolph said. "I not only try to provide energy for the kids but I feed off their energy, and it just takes me back to when I was a kid and running around at camp, so if I can be there for them and give them an opportunity for two days to come out here and have some fun, and get out of the house a little bit, and put the video games down, then it is a good time."
Tickets are still available for 2018 Verizon Vikings Training Camp at the TCO Performance Center for select dates. _Click here_ to access more information.