Eagan native returns to Minnesota in hopes of beating the team he grew up watching


Zach Zenner grew up watching the Minnesota Vikings, and on Sunday he'll likely take the field against his boyhood team.

"It's kind of crazy that I'll be playing against the team I grew up watching," Zenner told the Pioneer Press. "Quite a few people are coming out the woodwork to just show their support and not in a bad way. They're just really happy for me, excited for what I've accomplished so far."

Zenner, a star at Eagan High School and a standout at South Dakota State, went undrafted out of college, despite becoming the first running back in Division 1 football history to rush for 2,000 yards in three straight seasons, his bio notes.

It was a long shot for him to make Detroit's roster, but the 24-year-old led the NFL in rushing in preseason, helping him secure a spot on the team for the start of the season, the Pioneer Press notes.

Last week, he played in his first NFL game, carrying two times for six yards in the Lions' loss. If he's active Sunday, he'll likely have a minor role for the Lions, the Detroit News reports.

“It’s definitely going to be odd,” Zenner said, according to the Argus Leader. “It’ll be awesome to see my family, and to play against a team I grew up watching will be kind of crazy. That’s not exactly how you envision it, but at the same time it’s just another football game.”

Roughly 100 people, including relatives and friends – many of them Vikings fans, are expected to be in the stands to support him as he takes on the team he's never cheered against, the Pioneer Press says.

Both the Vikings and Lions will be looking for their first win of the season. Kickoff is at noon at TCF Bank Stadium.

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