The Minnesota Vikings have done a great job the last few seasons of signing players with ties to the Northstar State. They currently have 10 players on their roster who are either from Minnesota or went to college in the state. One of those players is running back C.J. Ham.
Ham grew up in Duluth and attended college at Augustana University in Souix Falls, S.D. He did not get drafted right out of college or get signed as an undrafted free agent right after the draft. The former Division II running back had to earn his way onto the Vikings roster by showing them what he had to offer at their rookie minicamp.
“The Vikings gave me an opportunity. They were the first ones to give me an opportunity. They gave me a tryout and me and my agent talked it over and he said it’s a great fit for me to go and try to make this team,” Ham explained. “I was fortunate enough to make it through the first cut.”
http://www.scout.com/nfl/story/1675506-analyst-names-nfl-s-10-most-talen... Being a Minnesota native, it is kind of a dream come true for Ham to be wearing the purple and gold everyday at practice, and maybe even a bigger dream come true to be lined up in the same backfield as Adrian Peterson. Like many kids growing up in Minnesota, Ham would watch a lot of Vikings games and Peterson highlights and now feels blessed to get to work with him.
He said that Peterson has been very helpful so far through organized team activities. If he noticed Ham doing anything wrong, or had any suggestions for him to get better, he lets the young guy know. But Ham has also been trying to observe how Peterson works from a distance and is trying to figure out some of his tricks of the trade that way as well.
“He’s definitely one of the best running backs to ever play the game and just to watch him move, how he makes cuts and how he makes reads, it’s something that I’m trying to bring into my game,” Ham said.
It’s not just Peterson, though. Ham is happy to be around all of the players on the Vikings roster and feels like they are bringing the best out of him, especially the defense, which has been making him work hard for everything he earns out on the field.
“It’s been a great experience,” he said. “Just being out here with all these veteran guys and these good athletes, it definitely brings the best out of you and I’m just trying to shape myself up against everyone else. I’m just trying to learn.”
With the depth the Vikings have at running back, it’s not too likely that Ham will make the team’s 53-man roster coming out of training camp. What is more likely is for him to be signed to their practice squad and spend some time there. And with Peterson beginning to near the end of his career and Matt Asiata on a one-year deal, spots could open up for him in the near future.