BKU Anticipates First Dome Experience

First-round draft choice Kenechi Udeze has played on the stage of the national championship, but he and other Vikings rookies are hearing a lot about playing in the Metrodome.

Kenechi Udeze has played in the spotlight, in front of thousands of fans, but tomorrow night he expects a different atmosphere.

"I've heard so much about the Dome," the rookie defensive end said. "I'm looking forward to seeing what it's all about."

Twenty-one Vikings rookies are hoping to make their professional football debuts at the Metrodome when the Vikings take on Arizona at 7 p.m. in the preseason opener for both teams.

As a player at Southern Cal, Udeze, the Vikings' top draft pick, has played before bigger crowds, but he's treating this a little differently.

"It's just a game," he said. "I'm looking at this professionally."

Udeze will start the game at right defensive end, but he will shift to left defensive end in passing situations.

Tice put the team through a one-hour walk-through Friday morning.

Longtime Twin Cities media personality Larry Fitzgerald Sr. got some ribbing from coach Mike Tice at Friday's morning practice.

Fitzgerald, the sports editor for the Minnesota Spokesman, was on the phone when Tice walked over.

"Don't you think that's a little blatant?" Tice asked with a laugh and handshake, jokingly accusing him of spying.

Fitzgerald is a friend of Arizona coach Dennis Green and father of the Cardinals' top draft pick Larry Fitzgerald Jr.

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