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5 Things to Know About New Vikings QB Case Cookus


EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings have added extra depth to their quarterbacks room entering Week 2 of U.S. Bank Stadium Vikings Training Camp.

Minnesota signed Case Cookus, the team announced Monday. The move occurred after three quarterbacks – including starter Kirk Cousins – were added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Cousins, Kellen Mond and Nate Stanley all were unable to participate in the Night Practice Saturday at TCO Stadium due to NFL COVID-19 protocols. It is unclear when Cousins, Stanley or Mond will return.

A native of Thousand Oaks, California, Cookus originally signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent but was waived during training camp. He also signed with the Broncos for a short stint this May.

Here are five things to know about Cookus:

1. Former Lumberjack

Cookus played at Northern Arizona from 2015-19. Over that time, he was 891-of-1,430 passing for 12,057 yards, 105 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He also added 206 carries for 232 yards and six rushing scores.

As a true freshman in 2015, Cookus threw for 3,111 yards and 37 touchdowns en route to earning Freshman of the Year honors. He also received the Jerry Rice Award, given to the most outstanding freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Cookus suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2 of his junior year but bounced back for the 2019 campaign. That season, he totaled 4,095 passing yards and 31 touchdowns against seven interceptions.

2. High school MVP

As a senior at Thousand Oaks High School, Cookus was named MVP of the 41st Ventura County High School Football All-Star Game.

He shares an alma mater with a number of other notable names, including actor Kurt Russell and actress Amanda Bynes.

3. Pocket passer with 'lively arm' analyst Lance Zierlein offered his thoughts on Cookus as he prepared for the 2020 NFL Draft, calling him a "small-school pocket passer with a lively arm."

"Cookus has had two season-ending injuries while at Northern Arizona, but when he's played, he's been impressive," Zierlein wrote. "He works with pocket twitch and has the ability to get the ball out quickly on RPOs or when pressured. While he appears to be decisive with the football, he's also a half-field reader who must prove he can read the full field and play chess when tasked with recognizing disguised coverages and altering his initial plans."

Zierlein did not project Cookus to be drafted but called him a "high priority free agent" for teams looking to add depth.

4. Accolades galore

Listed at 6-foot-4, Cookus isn't short in stature. He also isn't short on accolades.

The quarterback accrued a number of honors during his time with the Lumberjacks, including the following:

2018 Phil Steele All-America (Third Team)

2015 All-Big Sky First Team

2015 Jerry Rice Award winner

2015 Big Sky Freshman of the Year

2015 Walter Camp First-Team All-America

2015 Associated Press Third-Team All-America

2015 College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Year

2015 College Football Performance Awards National Freshman of the Year

2015 College Football Performance Awards Quarterback of the Year

5. Big birthday in 2020

Cookus turned 25 on Oct. 6, 2020, and celebrated a "pretty good birthday present" after proposing to his girlfriend, Tyler.