Hawley native enters second year with Minnesota Vikings
FARGO, ND — Former North Dakota State tight end Ben Ellefson is entering his third year in the NFL and his second with the Minnesota Vikings. It was quite a trip back to playing for the boyhood team.
The freshman year, Ellefson went undrafted and was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars shortly thereafter. The Hawley native played 133 snaps in seven games at Duvall before being cut the second year right after training camp.
That’s when the Vikings picked Ellefson for some depth at the position, seeing action in seven games primarily as a tackler before a knee injury put him on injured reserve. With a new coach and new energy in the building, the FCS all-American is looking to make the most of their opportunities ahead of OTAs.
“It all depends on what they are looking for. If I can fit them into the mold,” Ellefson said. “How well I can adapt to the offense they want. I can’t control anything of what is expected. All I can do is go out there and do what I do to the best of my ability. Let the chips fall where they may so I’m hopeful I’m here. Stay local and be a Viking for a long time, but at the end of the day it’s also a business, so go ahead and do what I can.
What helped Ellefson adapt the most to professional play was what his college coaches at NDSU focused on.
“You’re a bit more on your own with your diet, taking care of your body, your techniques and other things on the football pitch, so you come in with a good foundation and a good foundation,” Ellefson said. “I hope these continue to help me. I always talk to my college coaches and ask them about the different techniques they teach now. What they see. They sometimes watch my film and m ‘ send clips of me performing and criticize me a bit. Back and forth like that. It’s really helped me and I don’t think I’d be in this position if it wasn’t for a lot of between them.
The Vikes and Ellefson are in their second week of voluntary workouts.