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CFL vet Elimimian making an impression on Vikings

The Sports Xchange
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--Backup linebacker Solomon Elimimian made an impression on Vikings linebackers coach Fred Pagac during the team's May 4-6 rookie minicamp.

Elimimian, 25, isn't a rookie, but was invited to the camp because his NFL experience is limited to two preseason games as a rookie with the Bills in 2009. He spent the past two seasons playing in the CFL, where he won the league's most outstanding rookie award and a Grey Cup title with British Columbia last season. Elimimian also won back-to-back titles as the CFL's "hardest hitter," according to a poll of league's players.

Said Pagac to vertically-challenged Elimimian: "So, how tall are you?"

Answer: "I told Mr. Pagac, `I'm 5-foot-11 and a half. And make sure you remember that half."

Later, when asked by a reporter how a 225-pound linebacker could make it in the NFL, Elimimian said, "Actually, I'm 230 pounds."

Elimimian's style of play is old-school. So is the way he and some of his teammates discuss that style.

"I played with Solly up there (in the CFL) in 2010," said Vikings receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux. "Toronto had a running back, Cory Boyd, from South Carolina. Solly hit him one time and Cory was asleep by the time he hit the ground."

--A year ago, Brandon Fusco was a rookie center drafted in the sixth round out of Division II Slippery Rock. Today, he's preparing for a training camp battle that will determine whether he or free-agent acquisition Geoff Schwartz starts at right guard.

"Last year my goal was to obviously make the team, establish myself on the team," Fusco said. "This year though, it's nothing less than starting. That's my goal and something I've worked for since I was a little kid."

Fusco hadn't played guard since high school when the Vikings shifted him there last year. Fusco played in three games and impressed the coaching staff.

"I'm pretty comfortable with (guard)," Fusco said. "It's my job to start this year at right guard. I'm going to have to be comfortable with it."

--Rookie receivers Greg Childs and Jarius Wright have been friends since they were in third grade. They've been teammates at every level, starting in grade school in Arkansas and continuing up the ladder to the University of Arkansas and now the Vikings.

The two of them, both fourth-round draft picks, made a point of telling coach Leslie Frazier something about their past. Something that Frazier, coming off a 3-13 season, was glad to hear.

"They reminded me, 'Coach, we've always been winners. Everywhere we went,'" Frazier said. "I said 'Hallelujah! We'll take that. Bring some of that with you.'"

QUOTE TO NOTE
"I can say I've knocked some people out before. But, you know what, that's part of the game." - Vikings backup linebacker Solomon Elimimian, who was voted the CFL's "hardest hitter" by a poll of his peers in each of the past two seasons.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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