EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —The kinship between Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes and Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is one forged from the competitive aspects of their spirits.
"He played football, and I said I played football," Waynes told Vikings: Beyond the Gridiron. "We just started talking after that in middle school. We brought it onto the football field and competed there, too. The friendship just stuck."
Waynes and Gordon were teammates at Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin. They were incredibly close over the years, on the field and off the field, but pursuing football has created a substantial geographical spread.
View images of high school teammates and best friends Trae Waynes and Melvin Gordon from draft weekend.
Waynes went to Michigan State, and Gordon attended Wisconsin. The 2015 NFL Draft brought the young men back together in Chicago where the Vikings took Waynes 11th overall and the Chargers selected Gordon four spots later. Waynes' mother Erin captured the excitement in photos, continuing to chronicle their camaraderie.
The Vikings host the Chargers at noon (CT) Sunday, and large contingencies supporting both players are expected to trek to the University of Minnesota.
"It will be great, something we've always dreamed about," Waynes said this week.
Gordon told Twin Cities reporters this week during a conference call he remembered talking with Waynes about them making it to the NFL when they were on bus rides to high school games.
They've stayed connected through phone calls, and Gordon has asked Waynes about Adrian Peterson's work ethic and the way he finishes runs. Gordon has been a "big fan" of Peterson's ability and "the way he takes over games" for quite some time.