Big Ten: Minnesota Twins

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

Admit it. You want to be Eric Decker. Who doesn't?

He's one of the best wide receivers in college football, and he has been selected in each of the last two Major League Baseball drafts, most recently by his hometown Minnesota Twins in the 27th round last month. Decker is putting baseball on hold to see things through on the gridiron, and he'll serve as a co-captain this fall as Minnesota opens TCF Bank Stadium. A finalist for the Biletnikoff Award last season, Decker will become Minnesota's all-time receptions leader this fall and set several other marks before pursuing an NFL career.

  Bruce Kluckhohn/US Presswire
  Eric Decker should become Minnesota's all-time receptions leader this fall.

Decker took some time this week to discuss his future and the outlook for Minnesota in 2009.

Have you been able to switch your focus back to football pretty easily after playing baseball this spring?

Eric Decker: Yeah, it wasn't too bad of a transition. In the middle of June, I got back to doing football workouts, got back on the field and tried to get myself in shape for football. There's definitely a difference mentally and physically, just getting my strength back and being able to get my feet under me, where running routes and running long distances isn't hard anymore. That's a big thing because baseball, you're not running for two and a half hours at a time. It's more short-lived. In football, you're going and going and going and going.

Did your interest in playing football this fall ever waver after the draft?

ED: It was always clear that my intentions were to come back. It's a great opportunity to open up the new stadium, play my senior season and represent Minnesota. I'm very excited for the season. We have a lot of guys back and more depth. I'm really confident in what we can do.

There's a lot of excitement about the stadium. What's it like among the players since you'll be the first to play there?

ED: Just the excitement level and your preparation, you work so much harder because you know you have an opportunity to play at a new stadium in front of a big crowd and really cherish it. We got a chance to walk around and be in it. I think we're going to do a few summer workouts at the end of the month here inside and get a feel for it and really get adapted to the playing field and the atmosphere. It will be a special time. Our focus will always be on Syracuse [Week 1] during the summer, but to open the new stadium will be a special moment for everybody.

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