Harrison Smith and Paul Krause: Sharing the Vikings #22 jersey


For the first time ever, two of the best players ever to wear the #22 jersey for the Minnesota Vikings met and discussed football.  Those two individuals were current safety Harrison Smith and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Paul Krause.

It is interesting that these two had never met before, as the Minnesota Vikings are always trying to bring in former players as mentors and motivation for the young men on the team.  Harrison Smith has been with the team since being a first round draft pick back in 2012, so it a little odd that these two have never crossed paths.

However, when the two did meet, there was a lot of praise being passed back and forth between the two.  Paul Krause keeps a keen eye on the Vikings and has made a note of Harrison Smith’s play.  He discussed that in a recent article on the Vikings.com website.

"“He’s a great kid, and he’s a great football player,” Krause said of Smith. “He has a nose for the football. I don’t care how fast you are or whatever you do. If you’re around the football like he is — that tells me that he’s got what it takes to be a great football player.”"

Aug 6, 2015; Canton, OH, USA; General view of the jerseys of Paul Krause (22), Emmitt Smith (22), Jerry Rice (80), Ed Reed (20) and Bruce Smith (78) at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Krause should know great football players when he sees them.  He was a member of the Minnesota Vikings from 1968 until 1979, when he retired from the NFL.  He got to see many of the great Minnesota Vikings players from the Purple People Eater days and is one of the most popular players in Minnesota Vikings history.

Krause’s notoriety is something that Harrison Smith is well aware of.  He feels honored to be following in the tradition of the legendary Vikings safety and wear the same number as him.

"“I had wanted to meet [Krause] since I came to Minnesota,” Smith said. “I’m lucky enough to wear his number. When I met him, I was like, ‘This is the real twenty-two.’ ”"

Even though feeling Harrison Smith’s feeling of honor is great, it’s even more appealing to fans that he knows that wearing the #22 jersey is a big responsibility.  The motivation of knowing the history of the number and what is represents continues to push Smith every day.

"“It keeps me motivated, knowing a guy like him is watching me. I don’t know if I’m quite living up to his number, but if I can try to, I’ll keep trying to do that,” Smith promised. “Pretty much anything I can learn from him, listen to him — whether it’s on the field or off the field — I will. He has a ton of experience and a ton of success.”"

You can catch Harrison Smith when the Minnesota Vikings return from their bye week for the week 6 contest against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 18, 2015.  Check your local listings for time, channel and other details.

Next: Minnesota Vikings 2015 Game By Game Previews

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