Former Vikings Have Been Named Finalists for the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2025

Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Terence Newman (23) against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoff football game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have been the home of some of the greatest players in NFL history.

Inevitably, this also means that many former Vikings also dominated the competition at the collegiate level. Last week, the College Football Hall of Fame revealed the finalists for this year’s ballot. On that ballot are a number of former Vikings players. Here is a look at a few of them.

WR Bernard Berrian

Bernard Berrian spent five seasons at Fresno State from 1999-2003, and the Bulldogs made a bowl game appearance in each of those five years, including four consecutive seasons in the Silicon Valley Bowl. In total, Berrian appeared in 45 games at Fresno State, recording 182 receptions for 2588 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns.

College Football
Aug 27, 2011; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian (87) walks the sidelines in the game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Metrodome. The Cowboys win 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Berrian then was selected by the Chicago Bears in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft, and after four seasons with the team, he then went to the Vikings for the 2008 season. He put together the best season of his career in 2008 with 48 receptions for 964 yards and seven touchdowns. However, Berrian saw a steady decrease in production over the following three years, and he did not appear in an NFL game after the 2011 season.

DT Brad Culpepper

Brad Culpepper was a 10th-round draft pick by the Vikings back in 1992, but he spent only two seasons with the team. He played 26 games, making two starts in Minnesota, putting together only 19 tackles despite coming into the NFL after an All-American season in 1991 with the Florida Gators.

After he left the Vikings, Culpepper joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quickly realized his true potential. In six seasons with the Buccaneers, the defensive tackle recorded 33 sacks, including two seasons with at least 8.5 in 1998 and 1999.

RB D.J. Dozier

D.J. Dozier’s stint with the Vikings is an infamous one. The running back was selected with the 14th overall pick by Minnesota in the 1987 NFL Draft, but he never recorded more than 257 rushing yards in a season. He spent an injury-riddled four seasons with the Vikings before heading to the Detroit Lions in 1991 and never played another snap in the NFL after that season.

Jan 13, 1988; New Orleans, LA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Minnesota Vikings running back D.J. Dozier (42) in action against the New Orleans Saints during the 1987 NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at the Superdome. The Vikings defeated the Saints 44-10. Mandatory Credit: MPS-USA TODAY Sports

However, Dozier was a star at the collegiate level, playing four seasons at Penn State from 1983-86. The running back led the Nittany Lions to a national championship in 1986, recording 171 carries for 811 yards and 10 TDs in 11 games.

CB Terence Newman

Terence Newman had a very successful 15-year NFL career, but the Vikings only got to see the twilight of that journey. The cornerback was selected with the fifth overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2003, but he didn’t join the Vikings until 2015 when he was 37 years old. Remarkably, the 37-year-old cornerback still started all 16 games and recorded 12 passes defended and three interceptions, helping Minnesota qualify for the playoffs.

Newman spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Minnesota as well, but by the end of the stint, it was becoming clear that Father Time had finally caught up with him by the time his age-39 season concluded. Newman then became an assistant coach for the Vikings in 2018.

Nov 12, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Terence Newman (23) reacts after breaking up a pass intended for Washington Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder (not pictured) during the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. Minnesota Vikings defeated Washington Redskins 38-30. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Collegiately, Newman was a dominant cornerback at Kansas State. During his senior season of 2002, he was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for recording 14 passes defended and five interceptions.


Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference and Sports Reference CFB.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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