Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Duluth, Minn. native and former University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) offensive lineman Garth Heikkinen says getting an invite is fun, but now he wants to compete for a roster spot on the Minnesota Vikings.
Heikkinen accepted on Sunday morning an invitation to the Vikings' rookie camp, which is essentially a chance for him to compete for a spot at Minnesota's training camp in August.
The former Bulldogs standout said Sunday he thinks he can compete with the other players there.
"Don't make any mental mistakes. Play until the whistle. Show them you can compete at that level," Heikkinen said of his plans. "All the draft picks will be there along with the other rookies, so now I'm just going to do my best to fit right in."
The former Duluth Central standout amassed a school-record 11 All-American awards during his time as a Bulldog, with another school-record eight of those being first team honors.
He was also named the winner of the 2012 Gene Upshaw Award, which is given each year to the best lineman in NCAA Division II. For that, he became just the second UMD player to ever be invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game.
Heikkinen has been a staple on the offensive line during his four years at UMD, starting a school-record 54 straight games and helping the team to an overall record of (47-7).
In 2012, he was one of five senior captains during a season in which the team posted a program-record 46.5 points per game.
The Duluth native was the Bulldogs' first-four time all-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference honoree, being named three times to the first team (2010-12) and once being given honorable mention (2009).