Adam John Thielen (born August 22, 1990) is an American football wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Minnesota State University-Mankato and signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2013. In a week 12 Thanksgiving Day (November 23, 2017) matchup with the Detroit Lions, Thielen became the first Vikings receiver since Sidney Rice in 2009 to surpass 1000 receiving yards in a single season.
Born in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota to Pete and Jayne Thielen, Thielen grew up rooting for the Vikings and idolized Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, trying to imitate his famous tiptoe sideline catches in his own backyard as a child. He attended Detroit Lakes High School, where he participated in four sports (football, basketball, baseball and golf). In football, he helped lead the Lakers to a 9-1 season and was an All-conference and All-state selection in his senior season. That same year, he also was a member of a Detroit Lakes golf team that won the 2008 2A state championship.
After redshirting the 2008 season at Minnesota State University, Thielen played in nine games and caught 21 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown as a freshman in 2009. As a sophomore in 2010, he started in all 11 games and was named Minnesota State’s Offensive Player of the Year in addition to Second-Team All-NSIC South Division after he led the team with 41 receptions for 686 yards and six touchdowns. In 2011, he started all 12 games and was a Second-Team All-NSIC South Division selection for the second-straight season as he hauled in 62 passes for 715 yards and five touchdowns on offense and also handled kick return (three kicks for 77 yards and a score) and punt return duties (22 punts for 217 yards). During the 2012 season, Thielen became the main target for Minnesota State’s passing attack and was again the team’s starting kick and punt returner, helping the Mavericks to a 13-1 record, as they advanced to the NCAA Semi Finals. He led the Minnesota State receiving corps with 74 receptions for a total of 1,176 yards (15.9 avg) and eight touchdowns. For his efforts, Thielen was named NSIC South Division All-NSIC First Team, the Daktronics Super Region No. 3 Second Team, and Don Hansen Super Region Second Team. Thielen finished near the top of several career receiving categories after his four years at Minnesota State including finishing second in receiving yards (2,802), second in receptions (198), and third in touchdown catches (20). As a Maverick, he notched five 100-yard receiving games, including a career-high of 167 against Southwest Minnesota State in 2012.
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