My lifestyle--my struggles, my situations I go through.
Laquon Treadwell hasn't always had things easy. After a devastating injury late in 2014 that left him with a broken fibula and dislocated ankle, Treadwell had to fight back in 2015 to prove his worth. There are still plenty of doubters and questions surrounding him, but Treadwell is excited to prove himself at the professional level. He was a little staggered by how his draft stock fell, but believes it fell to a good place:
I'm just a kid coming up and chasing dreams. You always want to go as high as possible, so I was surprised...It's just an amazing experience, honestly. I was shocked, I just think I went to the right program and right organization. I just think I fell to the right spot.
Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman both mentioned how Treadwell plays with an "edge" and love his intangibles. Laquon believes his edge started before he even took the field at Ole Miss.
Playing defense, playing safety and defensive end, playing all over the field as a kid. I played so many different positions in high school so when I moved to receiver I just kind of naturally played with an aggressive edge--and willing to block and get physical with guys. It's just really natural to me.
Treadwell is excited about building a rapport with his new teammates, especially quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and fellow receiver Stefon Diggs. Treadwell and Diggs have been keeping in touch mostly via text over the course of the past year, with both players comparing notes on their respective experiences. "It's been good vibes from [Diggs] and good positive energy from him. I'm glad that we've already got a connection in a sense."
The big injury he suffered against Auburn just over 17 months ago definitely impacted Treadwell's 2015 season, and not just from a physical standpoint:
I was more mentally challenged than physically. I was stronger, I was faster, I was quicker but I couldn't allow myself to play the way I wanted because I didn't get hit in the spring of the last season so my first contact was in the game. Thinking back to the injury and going back and getting hit, it was definitely mental and the game is mostly mental...It was just an overall battle for me the whole season and I got better week after week. By Week 5 I took that leap and trusted myself and trusted my body to get hit and take those licks.
Treadwell credits all the treatment he received from the Ole Miss medical staff over the course of his slow and steady recovery. He knew patience was key after such a significant setback.
Over time I could see myself progressing and doing things that I wasn't able to do before. It was never a time where I just took a huge leap and I knew that I was back. It was just small, small increases over time...the staff that was at the school, my parents, my friends, they all supported me. They kept me positive through it all. They knew how bad I wanted to play at a high level and compete and get out there and help the team win.
He is longer receiving any treatment for his injuries, which means he can focus solely on getting better physically and overall as a player. But he won't forget the little things that made him stand out to Spielman and Zimmer, like his blocking.
Honestly, I learned young and I learned that in high school, the technique of blocking, setting your feet, waiting for the defender, and being two yards apart from him. I can't really describe it; it's really natural. I learned it and I stuck with it. I'm physical and can use it to my advantage to either shed the guy, let him go and just push him the way you want [him] to go, or if he's waiting I just engage.
I'm just a natural, honestly.
With the size, work ethic, and attention to detail Treadwell possesses, it seems like he'll be just a natural fit on Mike Zimmer's Vikings.