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Archive for Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Vikings sign pro wrestler as next big thing

July 28, 2004

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— Brock Lesnar is hoping to become the next big thing for the Minnesota Vikings.

Better known to World Wrestling Entertainment fans as "The Next Big Thing," Lesnar signed a contract with the Vikings on Tuesday.

The former NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion from Minnesota wants to win a spot on the defensive line. At 6-foot-3 and 286 pounds, the 27-year-old Lesnar has not played football since his senior year of high school in South Dakota.

"He's very serious about this," said Lesnar's agent, Ed Hitchcock. "He worked out today and (coach) Mike Tice said he wanted to sign him."

Lesnar retired from the WWE in March. In April, he sustained a pulled groin, bruised pelvis, broken jaw and broken left hand in a motorcycle accident.

Lesnar tried out for the Vikings in June and had another workout with them Tuesday. The Vikings open training camp on Friday.

After that workout a month ago, Lesnar said, "This isn't a publicity stunt."

"This is the real deal," he said then. "It's something I want to do. I don't want to wake up when I'm 50 years old and say I should have tried."

Scott Studwell, the Vikings' director of college scouting, was willing to give Lesnar another look.

"He is a project with a capital P," Studwell said in June. "He's got physical tools, but he has a long way to go."

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