Laquon Treadwell's road to the NFL included his childhood near Chicago suburbs and a college career in Mississippi before he landed with the Vikings.
But it was his early years as an adolescent and in high school that helped shape the Vikings wide receiver to who he is today, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
Tomasson recently spent time near Treadwell's suburban Chicago home to learn more about the Vikings most recent first-round pick.
Among the highlights of the story is that Treadwell's early dreams were to be a farmer.
Where it all started for Treadwell was in south suburban Chicago. That's where he developed from a kid who ran around on a nearby cornfield, hoping to one day be a farmer, to one who became the nation's top-ranked high school wide receiver.
Treadwell, 21, grew up in Ford Heights, a village 30 miles south of Chicago regarded as the poorest suburb in the United States. His mother, Tami Treadwell, sought to make ends meet while raising six kids as a single parent, but Laquon mostly had a carefree childhood.
"Everything I did, I was around animals and had to do with the outdoors," he said. "I'm like, 'I'm going to be a farmer when I grow up and get me some chickens and some horses and some (crops).' "
Tomasson also looked at Treadwell's rise to be one of the country's best recruits on the gridiron and recalled Treadwell's performance in the 2012 state title game.
Three weeks later, Crete-Monee won the state crown with a 33-26 win over Cary Grove. Treadwell, who finished the season with 81 catches for 1,424 yards and 16 TDs while also starring at defensive back, played likely the best game of his high school career.
"He really took over the game himself at state,'' said Lance Lenoir, then a Crete-Monee wide receiver and now at Western Illinois. "He was the reason why we won the state championship.''
Konecki said Treadwell played 10 positions in the title game. He caught six passes for 85 yards, including a 57-yard TD reception, and ran six times for 93 yards, including 69 yards for a score. He kicked an extra point, ran in a two-point conversation, and on defense had 12 tackles and an interception.
Brooks: Peterson among franchise cornerstones in NFL
Adrian Peterson's ranking will be unveiled tonight on NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2016."
While we know the Vikings running back will crack the top 10, it remains to be seen where he'll land.
NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks took a look at the 10 remaining players and ranked them himself, putting Peterson at No. 8.
The value of a running back seemingly has been diminished in today's pass-happy NFL, but old-school coaches still believe a championship team is built around a strong ground game and stingy defense. Thus, Peterson remains a valuable commodity as a workhorse runner with explosive athletic traits and a rugged running style. Yes, he sets the table for the offense with his tenacious approach, but it is his steady production against eight- and nine-man boxes that makes him the ideal runner to build an offense around. Peterson pops off 100-yard games like a slot machine (50 100-yard games, including playoffs, in nine seasons), which is impressive, considering the amount of attention he commands from defenders. Although he is at the age (31) where most runners lose their juice, he has shown no signs of slowing down. Of course, Peterson could fall off a cliff in 2016 based on the wear and tear a heavy workload (2,636 career touches) has imparted on his body, but I would still choose the perennial Pro Bowler to steady my offense as my feature back.
Peterson nabbed his third career rushing title last season by running for 1,485 yards. He also racked up 11 rushing touchdowns, which tied for the most in the league.
Peterson's spot on the top 10 will be revealed tonight at 7 p.m. (CT) on NFL Network.