EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –Eleven years after slinging a football for the Vikings, former quarterback Daunte Culpepper will be slinging ink for fans.
Culpepper will be this weekend's featured guest at the 2016 Rock N Jock Expo, an annual event that caters to local collectors of both the sports and music scenes. The expo will take place at New Hope Cinema Grill and is hosted by FanHQ, a sports memorabilia store with locations in Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and St. Cloud.
"We're excited to welcome Daunte back to Minnesota for a rare public appearance," FanHQ owner Shaun Hagglund said.
Culpepper will visit with guests and sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (CT). While the expo is free to attend, fans will need to purchase a ticket for autographs from Culpepper. All proceeds will go directly to support TC Elite Training Schools, a football camp run by former Vikings safety Tyrone Carter.
"Fans can get an autograph from one of the 50 Greatest Vikings of all-time and also support TC Elite scholarships," Hagglund said. "It's a great event all the way around."
Carter established TC Elite Training Schools in 2013 as a way to provide young athletes with football skills as well as life skills. A motto Carter has adopted is, "Seeing a possibility, believing it's possible and acting on it now."
"We are helping these young men understand what it takes to be successful and reach their full potential in anything they do – not just sports. I just use football as a tool," Carter said. "As you can see, there's a lot of chaos going on with kids these days. We're trying to give them something positive to do instead of getting into trouble."
Carter and Culpepper played together for the Vikings from 2000-2002, helping the Vikings to the Conference Championship game in 2000. Carter said having his former teammate at Saturday's event is significant in more ways than one.
"Any time you can have someone there that the state of Minnesota can understand and recognize [is beneficial]," Carter said. "Daunte wants to come back to share his love for these kids and [his fans] – that speaks volumes about the love he has for Minnesota."
Minnesota drafted Culpepper 11th overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. During a seven-season tenure with the Vikings, he threw for 20,162 yards and 135 touchdowns. Culpepper achieved a passer rating above 96 and earned a Pro Bowl nod for the 2000, 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Saturday will be the second time FanHQ and Carter join forces. In 2015, Hagglund partnered with Carter to host former Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss for an autograph event that also benefited TC Elite.
"It's always good to see those guys come back and give to the community," Carter said.
Culpepper will be joined at the Rock N Jock Expo by two Vikings teammates – Pro Football Hall of Famers Randall McDaniel and John Randle – at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., respectively.