Don’t hold it against him, but Frank Ragnow has been a Minnesota Vikings fan since he was a child. Growing up less than 30 miles away from Minneapolis, the Detroit Lions center remembers wearing an Adrian Peterson jersey shortly after the All-Pro running back was drafted to the Vikings in 2007.
At the time, Ragnow was 10 years old. Now—13 year later—he’s going to be blocking for Peterson, and he’s admittedly a little awestruck.
“I was literally asking the o-line room this past day how I should introduce myself, because I was freaking out so much,” Ragnow told Detroit media on Monday.
Ragnow joins an entire team that’s in disbelief that their childhood idol will be sharing a locker room with them. Running back Kerryon Johnson was worried he’d “fanboy” too hard. Last year, Bo Scarbrough was giddy to get Peterson’s jersey after the Lions’ Week 12 game against Washington.
But it’s different in Minnesota. Peterson was obviously a legend there, and both Ragnow and his family were right there to witness his career as the running back broke franchise record after franchise record.
“I remember A.D. ‘All Day,’ baby,” Ragnow said. “I remember him running for 296 vs. the Chargers. Wild, just wild. I can’t even describe it. My family is freaking out. All my friends back at home are freaking out. It’s pretty cool.”
Peterson’s role with the team is still to be determined. With Bo Scarbrough now on injured reserve and D’Andre Swift still dealing with a leg injury, it’s likely he factors into the Week 1 game plan against the Chicago Bears this Sunday. Head coach Matt Patricia, however, is taking it slow with him.
“He just got here,” Patricia said. “He’s got a lot to learn, and I know he’s going to do everything possible to put everything into it, and we’ll just take it from there.”
So, for now, Peterson is still acclimating to the Lions’ practice facility and trying to get to know his teammates.
Speaking of which, Frank, how did you end up introducing yourself to Peterson?
“‘Hey, I’m Frank.’ I kept it cool.”