Emmanuel Arceneaux, who played college football at Alcorn State (Leslie Frazier's alma mater), has spent the last two seasons as a member of the CFL's B.C. Lions.
In two seasons with the Lions, Arceneaux hauled in 130 receptions for 1,972 yards with 12 touchdowns. At 6'2" and 210 pounds, Arceneaux, who is only 23 years old, has all the physical tools to play wide receiver in the NFL.
Before the lockout began, Arceneaux had private workouts with eight NFL teams. He ended up signing with the Minnesota Vikings in late January.
With Sidney Rice heading toward unrestricted free agency and questions surrounding the future of Bernard Berrian, the Vikings could potentially have some holes to fill at wide receiver once the new CBA is settled.
Arceneaux, who has been training with rookie quarterback Christian Ponder, Joe Webb and others at the IMG football academy, is anxiously waiting for his opportunity to make a name for himself in the NFL. Recently, I was lucky enough to catch up with Emmanuel (via e-mail) and ask him a few questions.
KM: How would you describe yourself as a football player?
EA: I'm a competitor. I don't mind doing whatever i need to do to get the job done. I believe that hard work will always pay off.
KM: What do you consider to be some of your strengths and weaknesses?
EA: My biggest strength is that I'm coachable and always looking for ways to get better. I enjoy running, catching and blocking. As far as weaknesses go, I turn them into my strengths.
KM: You have been training with Christian Ponder, Joe Webb and Co. at the IMG football academy, what are your initial impressions of some of your new teammates and what kind of training have you guys been doing?
EA: The guys are great, down to earth and true students of the game. Our training consists of multiple things [such as] weight training, field work and swimming pool workouts.
KM: How has the training at IMG has been beneficial in terms of getting to know your teammates, building chemistry and learning Bill Musgrave's new offense?
EA: IMG has taught me a lot and made me bigger, faster and stronger in the period of time I've been here. Being around the guys down here on day to day basis, friendships have been established. Plus, being able to go out on the field and spend time in the classroom has helped me get familiar with a few concepts in the new offense.
KM: What NFL player would you compare yourself to?
EA: I would like to have the body control to go up for balls like Larry Fitzgerald and have that killer instinct like Hines Ward, but at the end of the day, I also want to establish my own name as my career takes off and gets going.
KM: How do you think your time in the CFL has helped you develop your skills as a player before entering the NFL?
EA: My time in the CFL has helped me understand the gift that God has blessed me with. It was a stepping stone and an opportunity for me to stay involved in the game of football. When you train for football [whether it's the CFL or NFL], its the same. You do cone drills, speed ladders, routes, weight training, film study, etc. You name it, [the training] is the same from little leagues to the big leagues, the only difference is the athletes.
KM: Who has been your biggest mentor so far in your playing career?
EA: My biggest mentor has been my mom, but also the veteran guys I've played with that have taught me the ropes and given me the run down of the Do's and Don'ts. But I've always leaned towards the word of God to keep me humble and grounded with peace of mind.
KM: What are some of your goals for your NFL career?
EA: My goals for the NFL are to make the 53-man roster, and be a competitor for as long as my career lasts. I don't believe in taking off plays or getting comfortable because at anytime God can take everything away. We aren't promised tomorrow.
KM: When you are not training or studying football, what do you like to do in your free time?
EA: I usually hang out at Platinum Styles Barbershop with my best friend Dwayne Dupar, or spend time with my family and close friends. Me and mom watch Law and Order SVU or Spongebob [laughs].
I would like to personally thank Emmanuel for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer some of my questions. He is not only a good football player, but a good person. I wish him the best of luck as he battles for a spot on the Vikings roster this fall.