While former Washington standout Tom Farniok is just beginning his NFL career, Mount Vernon legend Chad Greenway is preparing for the end of his. We caught up with the two South Dakota natives to get both ends of the spectrum.
"K-E-L-O," Greenway said.
Linebacker Chad Greenway is one of two Vikings at Training Camp from KELOLAND. The other is undrafted rookie free agent Tom Farniok. The offensive lineman grew up in Sioux Falls and says he still can't believe his lifelong dream has become a reality.
"It's pretty cool, because you grow up your whole life dreaming of seeing your name on the back of an NFL jersey," Farniok said. "Really it's just a dream to think how cool that would be someday. It really won't hit me until the first preseason game when we have the real uniform and it's really there. That will be the moment I realize that this is for real," Farniok added.
In order to keep his dream alive, Farniok will have to make the Vikings 53 man roster. One of those spots is already taken by Greenway, who is entering his tenth season in the NFL. While rookies such as Farniok are learning the ropes in Mankato, veterans like Greenway get to enjoy the process.
"I think leaning on the experience and knowing that the end is going to come eventually," Greenway said. "I just try to work day-to-day, continue to improve on things, and focus on new things each day. It is the necessary evil of football with Training Camp, but it's fun to get out here and start working," he said.
Both Greenway and Farniok have more in common than just representing the Rushmore State. Each of them led their high schools to state titles and they both played college football in Iowa. So in typical South Dakota fashion Greenway, a former Hawkeye, has already taken this young Cyclone under his wing.
"I have talked to him a little bit and he was actually the first guy on the team to come up and talk to me. He sought me out as a fellow South Dakotan, which was cool. I didn't know what to expect at first, if he was going to haze me or joke around, but he has been a really good guy. We talked for a little bit and he said to just work, learn, and the chips will fall where they will," Farniok said.
Tom's brother Derek is entering his senior season at Oklahoma. His youngest brothers Matt and Will are both highly recruited lineman at Washington High School.