Vikings tap ex-BOLD star Caspers for minicamp
By Ryan Deal
Aberdeen American News
All Jon Caspers wanted was an opportunity with an NFL team.
He will get that chance.
The former Northern State offensive lineman has received a rookie mini-camp invite with the Minnesota Vikings.
“It feels amazing,” Caspers said. “Not too many people get the chance to fulfill a childhood dream.”
Caspers, from Bird Island, is a 2008 BOLD graduate. Besides football, he was a wrestling and baseball standout.
He did not receive a call from any team on Saturday after the conclusion of the NFL Draft. He instead received the call from the Vikings Sunday morning and will report to their rookie minicamp Thursday. The camp runs through Saturday.
“I kind of jumped on that right away and said yes,” Caspers said about getting the call on Sunday morning.
Caspers participated in some pre-draft combines and also went to the South Dakota State pro day in Brookings on March 13. NSU coach Tom Dosch said that 10-12 teams had expressed some kind of interest in Caspers during the draft process.
“Now the opportunity is there and you are not just talking about it,” Dosch said. “Now it is real and it will be great for Jon to go down there and get into a football setting and really show what he can do. That is really all you can ask for when you are in this position is an opportunity to go down and hopefully showcase your skills and show that you belong at that level.”
If all goes well, Caspers could be signed as a free agent with the Vikings at the conclusion of the minicamp. Even if it does not work out for Caspers with the Vikings, it could potentially open up another opportunity with another team said Dosch.
“It is great for our program and great for Jon,” Dosch said. “Jon has worked extremely hard and really made himself into a very good football player. His work ethic has just been tremendous. It is gratifying to see that as a coach that you see a guy putting that much time in.”
The 6-foot-4 3/4, 305-pound Caspers was an All-NSIC Second Team selection this past fall for the Wolves. From his left tackle position, Caspers anchored an offensive line that allowed just eight sacks on the year, which led the league and was fifth nationally.
Caspers is projected more at offensive guard at the next level, but added that he will play wherever he is asked.
“To me it doesn’t matter what position I play,” Caspers said. “I played all over the line. So I’m pretty comfortable the whole way across the board.”
How will Caspers approach this opportunity?
“Just try to play to the best of my ability and try to study as hard as I can when I get chances to learn schemes and everything and try to use my brain on the field and be as smart of a player as I was here at Northern,” Caspers said.
He added he is appreciative of his time spent in the Hub City after first spending time at North Dakota State College of Science and Iowa State prior to enrolling at NSU.
“I’d like to thank the community of Aberdeen for making my two years here a blast and I’d like to thank all my coaches, my parents and friends,” he said.