Khari Blasingame has been able to do a little bit of a lot this week.
The fullback who joined Minnesota as an undrafted rookie out of Vanderbilt in May was one of 37 players participating in practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before camp fully opened today.
He said the role of fullback in the Vikings offense is “great.”
“There’s a lot of different ways to get in and make an impact, from blocking to catching the ball,” Blasingame said. “I’m excited about the prospect of competing and trying to help the team that way.”
When asked about Blasingame this week, Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski said, “Smart kid, obviously, Vanderbilt” and complimented Blasingame’s approach and versatility.
“He catches the ball extremely well, which has been impressive,” Stefanski said. “He’s very diligent about his work. We’re lining him up in different positions because when you get out here and your roster numbers are a little bit low, we’re going to have to line him up at a few different places, and he hasn’t missed a beat. I’ve been impressed with him, and he’s working really hard with [running backs coach] Kennedy [Polamalu].
The Alabama native was set to come to Minnesota years ago and play for the Golden Gophers until he received an offer to stay much closer to home and joined the Commodores.
Blasingame wound up playing for former Vikings assistant defensive backs coach Derek Mason and teaming with Vikings defensive end Stephen Weatherly and Packers linebacker Oren Burks.
“Stephen was always real cool to me, big brotherly type of thing of showing me the ropes, and he’s doing the same thing here,” Blasingame said.
A Second-Team All-State defensive back, baseball outfielder and competitor in sprints and jumps at Buckhorn High School, Blasingame began his college career as a linebacker before switching to offense.
Here are three other topics that Blasingame covered with Vikings.com:
1. Baseball helped your football recruitment?
“We were playing a game, and one of my teammates, Kyle Wright, was committed to Vanderbilt, and my baseball coach dropped a dime for me. I think [Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim] Corbin told [former football Commodores coach James] Franklin. That’s how my recruiting process started.
“It’s a unique little way of how I first got plugged in.”
Blasingame remains a supporter of the Vandy baseball program, which won the College World Series.
“They go crazy, year-in and year-out. [Pitcher] Kumar Rocker was a dog all year. I know a lot of those guys, Harrison Ray.”
2. What do you want to do with your degree in Medicine, Health and Society?
“After ball, probably do some health care administration. I learned about [the major] when I got there. When I first went to Vanderbilt, I wanted to do pre-med, and the path changed a little bit with football demands.”
3. Is it kind of crazy that you wound up in Minnesota after all?
“Yeah, that’s what everybody says. My high school coach is like, ‘Something up there is pulling you toward Minnesota,’ so we’ll see what there is in store. I hope it’s some great things.”