EAGAN, Minn. – Alexander Mattison traded in Boise State's trademark blue turf for the green of Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center practice fields Friday.
The running back, whom the Vikings selected 102nd overall, spoke to media members following the team's morning walk-through session.
"I'm grateful, and I can't believe that I'm here," Mattison said.
Mattison called it a "dream come true" to be starting his NFL journey and compared his emotions to that of his first day at Boise State in 2016.
"It's kind of a similar feeling – definitely on a different level, though," he said. "But it's a new beginning, a new start, but it's a part of that life-long goal and dream of accomplishing something, so now it's just the next step into the next chapter of my life, and I'm super excited.
"Day one, it feels good to finally put a helmet back on and get out there," Mattison added. "I just can't wait to continue to grow."
Asked about the success that Boise State football has experienced, Mattison pointed to the program's philosophy.
"It's not in the Blue, but it's in the blood and sweat and tears that put in the Blue," Mattison said. "There's guys in there, if you walk in there you'll see guys that just give it their all. It's the culture, it's contagious, and I think as long as that culture's there, it'll continue to grow."
Mattison has made the transition to Purple, but the Vikings share the blue-collar work ethic that he grew accustomed to in college.
Mattison emphasized Minnesota being "the right fit" and expressed excitement for getting to work in the Vikings offense and contributing in whatever way he can. The 20-year-old responded specifically to the departure of Latavius Murray in free agency and how he can potentially fill a similar role alongside Dalvin Cook.
"I definitely hope to work and get out there and be able to be in that position and be that downhill, fast and physical back, and I just can't wait for the opportunity," Mattison said. "Just taking it day by day, working as hard as I can to get out there and prove that I can be one of those backs for this team."
Teams have shifted to using multiple running backs, either for specializations, to get changes of pace or to help get through a long season. Mattison said he's picked up on the trend and "appreciates" the way the position is utilized.
"It definitely is a way to make sure that backs are staying healthy," he said. "As much as I can contribute, I'm going to work and make sure that I can do that."
Over three seasons with the Broncos, Mattison racked up 581 carries for 2,829 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also contributed 60 catches for 511 yards and one touchdown through the air.
He told reporters that he hopes to be a versatile weapon for the Vikings.
"I think I'm valuable in the pass game, both in pass-protection and catching out of the backfield, so I just hope to get out there and prove that," Mattison said. "And hopefully we can work out way into the offensive system to where me and Dalvin and the [other] backs, the whole offense can surround the running backs."
"At Boise we always said, 'We're the legs of the team,' " he added, 'so I just hope to be one of those."