Ben Goessling of the "Vikings Now" blog over at the St. Paul Pioneer Press has a really interesting profile up of new Minnesota Vikings punter Jeff Locke. Locke, who was taken in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft last month. . .yes, it's already been a month since the draft. . .took over for Chris Kluwe, who had served as the Vikings' punter for eight seasons.
We all know about Kluwe being involved in many off-field causes, and doing so with a great deal of fanfare. But just because the Vikings are employing a new punter doesn't mean that they're employing one that's less socially aware.
Locke's focus appears to be on a lot of things that have to do with economics, which he majored in at UCLA (with a 3.88 GPA, no less). He gave three lectures to his teammates at UCLA about how to handle their finances, and also helped them to set up personal budgets. He also spent 3 1/2 years as a member of the National College Players Association, an entity that I didn't even know existed until I saw it in Goessling's article.
And, as it turns out, he is. . .as the article calls him. . .a "military brat." So, he's got that going for him.
Don't expect Locke to say a lot of controversial things, though. Coming in as a rookie, he knows where his head needs to be.
"You're kind of way ahead of where I'm at right now. I'm just trying to help this team win games," he said. "I haven't really thought about any type of off-field stuff, like this NCPA stuff, at this moment. I'm just coming in every day and trying to get better at punting. We'll see down the road."
Hopefully the transition from Kluwe to Locke goes as well as last year's transition from Ryan Longwell to Blair Walsh did.