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singersp
08-13-2006, 07:31 AM
Former Gustavus star Hoag speeds up to impress Vikings

Vikings wide receiver Ryan Hoag was a great all-around athlete at Washburn High School and a All-America track athlete and A student at Gustavus Adolphus.

Sid Hartman, Star Tribune
Last update: August 12, 2006 – 10:47 PM

Vikings wide receiver Ryan Hoag was a great all-around athlete at Washburn High School and a All-America track athlete and A student at Gustavus Adolphus.
Now, for the fourth time in four years, the wide receiver -- honored as "Mr. Irrelevant" as the last player drafted in 2003 -- is trying to earn a roster spot on the Vikings.

During the offseason, Hoag spent a lot of time working to improve his speed and conditioning at the Wide World of Sports in Orlando, where a guy named Tom Shaw, who was Deion Sanders' former track coach at Florida State, has trained athletes for more than 15 years.

Reggie Bush, the great Southern Cal running back now with the New Orleans Saints, was one of many great players working there. It's also where Hoag got to know Vikings rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who like Bush was among a group of NFL prospects working there this past winter.

"Speed is [Shaw's] mantra. He works a lot on getting you faster," said Hoag, who with a time of 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash is one of the fastest players in Vikings training camp. "He has got a real good weight program too. Basically, he just puts you in an environment where we're competing with guys of our same skill levels."

Hoag said the time with Shaw has paid off because many Vikings teammates had mentioned to him how much he has improved his speed.

The Florida camp got so tough that Hoag ended up at the hospital once needing a couple of IVs because of how dehydrated he was.

"I see this as potentially my last opportunity to, quite honestly, to make the team," Hoag said. "That's why I went down to Tom Shaw as kind of a, "Well, if I'm going to go out, I'm going to go out swinging.' I am further along than I ever have been at this point in my career, coming into an August.

"It's night and day compared to '03 at the Raiders, '04 with the Vikings and last year with the Vikings. I'm injury free. I'm healthy. I'm weighing about 205, which is probably eight pounds more than I was a month ago. I'm as fast as I've ever been. And mentally as strong as I've ever been."

How tough it is to be released time after time?

"It's a true testament to patience. And patience is something that any real competitive person struggles with," he said. "It has been very trying on me. At times you question whether or not this is the right thing for you, especially considering I'm as proud as my academic All-America status as Gustavus and being a future first-grade teacher, as I am of being an NFL player. I'm the type that's never satisfied until I attain my goals. My goal is not just to make it or just to get drafted. It was to be a solid, contributing member on NFL football team."

It's not my job to advise young athletes what to do. But in Hoag, whom I know well, I see an athlete who some day could be president of a big company because of his intelligence and personality. Maybe if he doesn't make it this time, it might be a good idea at 25 years of age to get started on that great off-the-field career

Full Article: http://www.startribune.com/507/story/611155.html

Vikes_King
08-13-2006, 12:27 PM
i kind of hope we keep him as a backup.. (rather than McMullen
::)), i like how this kid did during this years NFLE season

marshallvike
08-13-2006, 12:33 PM
this is exactly the type of attitude i would like to see from every nfl'r. if they all worked this hard, maybe they would appreciate the gift they have been given, playing in the NFL

i_bleed_purple
08-13-2006, 03:55 PM
i like what i hear from him.
i think he had a good preseason last year, there just weren't really any spots left for him with 5 good receivers.
i wouldn't be surprised if he makes the team and mcmullen gets cut.
a 4.3 40 time is impressive.

marcosMN
08-13-2006, 04:03 PM
Does anyone know if they've given him any looks on the return teams?

i_bleed_purple
08-13-2006, 04:43 PM
i'm pretty sure moore's a lock as punt returner, and if koren isn't returning kicks, then moore probably will seeing as how he's not starting.
but i wouldn't be dissappointed if he were returning kicks.

marcosMN
08-13-2006, 06:16 PM
"i_bleed_purple" wrote:


i'm pretty sure moore's a lock as punt returner, and if koren isn't returning kicks, then moore probably will seeing as how he's not starting.
but i wouldn't be dissappointed if he were returning kicks.


He sure seems to have elusiveness, and now the speed, to do well... Although I can't say I dislike Mewelde there. I just hope he's toughened up a bit.

i_bleed_purple
08-13-2006, 06:39 PM
well since he won't be starting, i expect he will have a big role in special teams.

marcosMN
08-13-2006, 06:40 PM
Yeah. Until he stubs his toe.

FuadFan
08-13-2006, 06:42 PM
I liked Hoag last year and thought he should have made the team. I'm cheering for him this year to be there at the end.

i_bleed_purple
08-13-2006, 09:17 PM
"SnoBumMN" wrote:


Yeah. Until he stubs his toe.


haha, i'll admit that was actually pretty funny.

but do remember the giants game where he returned kicks with two messed up wrists.

jackyl
08-13-2006, 09:22 PM
Ryan's one of my guys. Good kid.

Webby
08-13-2006, 09:30 PM
I hope Hoag makes it.
Always liked him and think he has some potential to be effective.

damien927
08-14-2006, 12:07 AM
I hope me makes it.... especially since he is local and has put so much work into fulfilling a dream.

i_bleed_purple
08-14-2006, 12:43 AM
as stated before, i think he'll make it, the only reason he didn't make it last year is because we had burleson, taylor, robinson, robinson, williamson, campbell and howry to contend with.
he had a good preseason and since it sounds like he's put lots of work into improving, he should make it as a #5 reciever.

VikesfaninWis
08-14-2006, 12:06 PM
He for sure has the right attitude about it.. I haven't really seen much on him, so I can't really judge.. I am sure if he has that hard work ethic, that it will pay off for him..

Wiggles67
08-14-2006, 12:14 PM
I definately think he deserves to make this team...

hell I thought he did last year

marcosMN
08-14-2006, 12:16 PM
I am pretty excited to see him in action with T-Jak tonight.