NEW ULM - For 14 years, John Randle terrorized and heckled quarterbacks in the NFL as he chased them around as a member of the Minnesota Vikings and later the Seattle Seahawks.
And while he brought terror on Sunday's to his opponents, Randle brought nothing but smiles to the faces of hundreds of autograph seekers at Runnings in New Ulm on Friday as he was on hand for the store's Grand Opening at it's new location.
The 2010 Hall of Fame inductee and seven-time Pro Bowler totalled 137.5 sacks in his career, the second most ever for a defensive tackle. Not a bad run for a guy who wasn't even drafted out of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Seven-year-old Lexi Blank (left) and Shari Apitz of New Ulm pose for a photo after former Viking John Randle signed autographs for them during Runnings’ grand opening event Friday in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
"Just being a free agent, I was always out there working proving I belong out there in the National Football League," Randle said.
In his retirement days, Randle spends time with his family and his children. He also plays golf and does charity work in Minnetonka for children with special needs.
Randle starred for the Vikings from 1990-2000, recording double-digit sacks in nine different seasons, including a career-high 15.5 in 1997. At the end of the 2000 season, Randle signed with the Seattle Seahawks and retired after the 2004 season.
The Vikings made some offseason news when they hired Mike Zimmer as their next head coach. Zimmer has the reputation as being a tough defensive coach, something Randle likes.
"I think he's a good addition and I think he's going to put the team in the right direction," Randle said.
These days, Randle still watches the Vikings, Seahawks and the Cowboys. And while he pays attention to the Vikings still, he admitted he didn't have much advice for Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and company when the NFL draft begins on May 8.
"That's a good question, I don't really know," he said. "I just hope we have a great draft and we can improve the team."