SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Vikings safety Harrison Smith, and Eagles linebacker Nate Gerry hosted a defensive clinic at the Sanford Fieldhouse on Monday.
Nate Gerry may be the hometown hero, but at today’s defensive clinic with Harrison Smith, he understood he was in Vikings territory.
“As you can see there’s a lot of 22 jerseys, so you know everybody loves the Vikings around here,” Gerry said.
Smith joins a long list of current and former Vikings players that are involved with Sanford Sports. He credits teammates Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph and C.J. Ham for introducing him to the organization.
“They love what the organization does, and how they help the community so got involved that way,” Smith said.
Both players say the main reason they attend camps like today’s, is remembering their own excitement of meeting professional athletes at a young age.
“I remember being a kid and coming to a few camps with pro players and college players and remember how excited I was. So I try to keep that in mind,” Smith said.
For Gerry, his journey has come full circle. From attending these types of camps when he was younger, to now being one of the celebrities.
“Being from here, I think it makes a big difference for some of these kids to see that you know, not just with football, but whatever they want to do is possible,” Gerry said.
Though the only thing they share in common before today’s camp was playing on opposite sides of the 2018 NFC Championship game, there are some some similarities between Gerry and Smith heading into the 2019 season. Both look to help their team’s rebound from disappointing seasons.
“We’re working. You know, our work ethic hasn’t changed, it’s been increased if anything,” Gerry said.
“The NFL is all about winning right now. It’s about what have you done for me lately. I’ve tried to keep that in mind every year, and definitely this one as well,” Smith said.