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Updated: May 20th, 2011 5:24pm
Vikings' lockout camp tentatively set to start May 30 at South Florida

Vikings' lockout camp tentatively set to start May 30 at South Florida

by Tom Pelissero
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One rookie is organizing the Minnesota Vikings' lockout passing camp. Another plans to host it.

Safety Mistral Raymond, a sixth-round draft pick out of South Florida, said on Friday he has been in touch with quarterback Christian Ponder and received clearance to host four days of workouts at his alma mater.

"I talked to my coaching staff and everything," Raymond said. "They said it's perfectly fine with them. So, if Christian gets this stuff together, we'll have the opportunity to get some of the Vikings' skill players down here right on campus at USF."

The workouts tentatively are scheduled to run May 30 to June 2, Raymond said.

Since most of the Vikings don't live in Minnesota during the offseason anyway, the USF campus in Tampa, Fla., is as logical a place to meet as any. Ponder went to Florida State, standout receiver Percy Harvin went to Florida and Tampa is about 45 minutes north of Bradenton, where numerous NFL players train at IMG Sports Academy.

As the lockout approaches 2½ months, players from more and more NFL teams have begun conducting sessions of varying sizes at high school fields and even public parks. The four-day session the Vikings' top draft pick is planning in Florida could end up being the first in a series.

Raymond began communicating via Twitter with Ponder -- who confirmed the workouts but didn't reveal a date or location in an interview with ESPN Radio on Friday morning -- shortly after last month's draft and didn't hesitate when asked to seek permission to use USF's facilities.

"I did that, and Coach (Skip) Holtz is all for it," Raymond said. "So, hopefully, we get a chance to get some of the guys down here, get them on campus and I'll kind of be the host to some of the Vikings' offseason workouts. That'd be a nice deal."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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