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Scouting Fellowship Gives Phil Loadholt Inside Look at Vikings Front-Office

EAGAN, Minn. — Phil Loadholt is no stranger to an NFL locker room, practice field or stadium.

The former Vikings right tackle can add front office to the list, thanks to his participation with Minnesota's personnel department this training camp.

Loadholt is participating in the **Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship**, which was created in January 2015 to expose former players to career opportunities in college and pro scouting. The fellowship is named in honor of Bill Nunn, personnel director of the Steelers from 1970-87, and John Wooten, who played 10 seasons before working in the personnel departments of the Cowboys, Eagles and Ravens.

"First of all, I would like to say thank you to the Vikings, [General Manager] Rick Spielman and [Executive Director of Player Development] Les Pico for giving me this opportunity to come back to Minnesota," Loadholt said. "It's great to see this wonderful facility that's built here by the Wilfs. The Vikings do a great job of taking care of their alumni players. It's been a great experience."

Loadholt is preparing for his second season at UCF, where he assists fellow former Oklahoma Sooner Josh Heupel's program under offensive line coach Glen Elarbee.

"I'm really enjoying what I'm doing at Central Florida," Loadholt explained. "That's one of the reasons that [the fellowship] program is so great; it gives me the opportunity to get a snapshot of scouting and figure out things, see what I want to do. I'm not in a rush. I'm really enjoying this, as well."

Loadholt said members of the Vikings personnel department have been "an open book" for him to learn more about college and pro scouting, film breakdowns and grading.

In part of his preparation for starting 89 regular-season games and three playoff games for Minnesota from 2009 through 2014, Loadholt watched plenty of film to learn about the defensive players he was about to face. He is "cranking away" on film now, but his focal point has changed.

"There's a difference because when I was watching as a player, I'm getting ready to go against a guy. That was more of [looking at] technique and things like that," Loadholt said. "Here, I'm looking at body types and the way people fit in schemes and how people help this team. It's a lot different. I'm looking at the big picture."

Loadholt also had a session on the salary cap this week with Executive Vice President of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski.

"There are a lot of things that I didn't know that go on, so it's been really good for me," Loadholt said.

Spielman said the Vikings have two fellowships each year and vet "very thoroughly." He said Loadholt's expressed interest in participating, his career on the field and "what he was for this football team as a leader" made Loadholt a great candidate.

"Every year, we try to bring in two, especially if they're former players here, to come in and get exposure to the front-office side of the business," Spielman said. "A couple of weeks from now, the other one we're working on, if it works out with his schedule, Jasper Brinkley will do the same program, as well."

Brinkley was a draft classmate of Loadholt's in 2009. He played in 94 games (42 starts) for Minnesota (2009-12, 2014), Arizona (2013) and the New York Giants (2015).