Rayon Simmons is still wearing purple, but the stage is much bigger. The former Winona State running back is at Minnesota Vikings’ Rookie Camp, as he tries to make the roster as an undrafted rookie free agent.
“I've been waiting for this my whole life,” Simmons said, who set just about every rushing record at WSU. “I got my first practice out of the way, I'm just ready to keep going.”
With Head Coach Leslie Frazier looking on, Simmons saw limited action, but tried to make the most of every opportunity.
“I got a long ways to go, so I'm just putting in the work,” he said. As you can see, I'm working hard, trying to show them I can compete with the best, and I feel like I'm doing that right now.”
“For some of these guys, it's just a small window, and they've got to jump out early and fast,” Frazier said. “Probably the way they handle themselves in the meetings, that makes a difference. Then, if they can carry some of the things they grasp from the meetings to the field, and they need to make a play. They need to do something where the coaches will go, wow. That guy, he caught my eye.”
“I feel like I gave it my all today, so I can go in the locker room, take a shower, and feel good with myself,” Simmons said. “So if that's not good enough, as a man, I can understand their decision. But right now I feel like I'm giving my all for them.”
“It's a tall task but it happens. [Rochester native] Marcus Sherels is a good example. It can happen,” Frazier said.
Rookie camp continues through the weekend, so Simmons will find out Sunday whether he's invited back for OTAs. If he isn't, he said he will talk to his agent and try to find another team.
“I'm focused on making this team, staying in Minnesota, and being a hometown hero.”