Duluth's C.J. Ham finding his groove in first year at fullback for Vikings

Ham, then a redshirt freshman operating again at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., wasn’t simply listening to Peterson that season. He was protecting an in depth eye on the fullback blocking for him.

“I favored Jerome Felton lots,” Ham stated. “Adrian had some unbelievable years with him blocking in entrance of him. Clearly, (Felton) was doing one thing proper.”

Flash ahead 5 years and Ham is Minnesota’s fullback. Whereas he will not make the Professional Bowl, like Felton in 2012, he is nonetheless having an environment friendly yr.

Ham has been strong as a blocker and has had some well timed touches. He has seven carries for thirteen yards and a landing plus 4 receptions for forty seven yards, together with a 12-yard catch in final Sunday’s 14-9 victory at Atlanta.

“I assumed he performed nicely,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer stated. “He had a 3rd-down conversion (a 1-yard run on third-and 1). He caught a move and made a man miss and had a pleasant run. He will get on the fitting man, he blocks them, he is an excellent athlete, he does an ideal job on particular groups. He is enhancing lots.”

Ham was undrafted in 2016 out of Augustana, a Division II program, and spent most of final season on the Vikings’ apply squad. He was on the fifty three-man roster for the ultimate two video games however didn’t play.

Final spring, the Vikings determined to not re-signal free-agent fullback Zach Line, who held down the fullback spot for 2 years following Felton’s 2012-14 tenure. That is when operating backs coach Kennedy Polamalu approached Ham.

“He advised me, ‘It will be a good suggestion to study some fullback as properly,'” Ham stated. “I simply took it as a chance to get higher and make myself extra beneficial.”

With Dalvin Prepare dinner (now on injured reserve), Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon carrying the ball for the Vikings, it is unlikely Ham would have made the fifty three-man roster this season as a operating again. However they all the time want a fullback.

Ham did not get plenty of enjoying time within the first seven video games, averaging 9.6 snaps per recreation. Up to now 5 video games, although, he has averaged 17.6 performs, together with a profession-excessive 25 towards the Falcons.

“During coaching camp, I used to be nonetheless studying” the place, stated Ham, who did play a bit fullback early in his school profession. “I am nonetheless studying as we speak, however I am getting higher. I undoubtedly am getting extra assured every recreation and every apply.”

The Vikings have not hesitated to make use of Ham as a runner, together with final week towards the Falcons when his third-down dialog within the second quarter stored alive a drive that led to their first…

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