MANKATO, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings signed second-round draft pick Toby Gerhart to a four-year deal Friday, putting all eight of the team's draft picks under contract before the start of training camp.
The Vikings and Gerhart agreed to the deal a few hours before the team's first practice on Friday. Gerhart rushed for 1,871 yards and 28 touchdowns at Stanford last season.
Gerhart missed all the organized team activities and most of minicamp while finishing school at Stanford and coach Brad Childress said it was important that he not miss any of training camp. The coach even sent his rookie a text message on Thursday night urging him to get the deal done.
"I got a text message saying 'Get here and get your mind right,'" Gerhart said. "That's what I wanted. I'm here to play football. Here to help win."
Childress was pleased to see his message get through.
"I think he had three practices with us in that minicamp before he went back to graduate. But he's game," Childress said. "The offenses couldn't be any more similar. Jim Harbaugh's version of it and ours, a lot of it has the same lingo. He obviously is a quick study."