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Beavers' Phelps invited to participate in Vikings mini camp


Former Bemidji State University cornerback Terrell Phelps has been invited to this weekend's Minnesota Vikings free agent mini camp.

He is one of 50 players invited to participate in the camp, which begins Friday and runs through Sunday.

Phelps will join the Vikings' five 2009 NFL draft picks, 14 undrafted signees and up to 30 others at Winter Park in Eden Prairie.

He will be vying for an opportunity to earn a free-agent contract.

"Getting a call from an NFL team is something that I have been pressing for and working toward for a long time. This opportunity is a blessing and I owe all the glory to God," Phelps said. "I want to thank all the coaches at BSU for helping me to prepare for this opportunity. I've spent the last few months trying to get not only my body, but also my mind, ready for this moment."

Phelps finished his four-year career at Bemidji State with 152 tackles (79 solo). He had eight interceptions, total of 36 passes defended, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

The North Carolina native set a new Bemidji State mark for single-season passes defended with 20 in 2008.

His five interceptions not only paced the BSU defense, it also tied for third in the NSIC and was 30th among all NCAA Division II defensive players.

In addition, the First-Team All-NSIC pick piled up 63 tackles (38 solo) to rank fourth on the team, picked up a fumble and forced another, starting at cornerback in each of the Beavers' 11 contests.

Phelps was elected to representing Bemidji State in the 2009 Valero Cactus Bowl, the all-star game for Division II athletes.

"We are very excited for Terrell," BSU head coach Jeff Tesch said. "He is a player that has worked as hard to get to where he is as any player I've ever coached. The progress he's made and the success he's had is all attributed to how hard he has worked."

Phelps becomes the fourth former Beaver to receive an invitation to an NFL camp under Tesch. He follows Michael Nordyke and Anthony Schreiber, who tried out for the Vikings in 2005 and 2008, respectively, and Jonathan Hawks, who earned a 2007 tryout for the New Orleans Saints.

"This verifies that we have good players here and is a tribute to the success we have had," said Tesch. "I think it is great that the Vikings are giving state-school kids a chance by giving them a look."