Vikings’ Justin Jefferson Talks About Differences Between College Game and NFL

Published 05/12/2021, 11:53 AM EDT
Dec 20, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass in the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports


Justin Jefferson had an incredible rookie year with the Minnesota Vikings. The wide receiver had one of the best first seasons in the history of the NFL. He broke records during his season with the Vikings.

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His game translated really well into the league, which isn’t always a guarantee with collegiate players moving to the NFL. But what are the differences he’s seen in the collegiate game in the NFL?

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson was a guest on Colin Cowherd’s show. He was asked what differences he had noticed between the NFL and the collegiate game.

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Jefferson noted that because he played in the SEC (Southern Conference), he faced quality opposition. However, it isn’t the quality of opposition that makes the NFL different, but rather the sharpness thanks to the experience that players have.

Nov 29, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
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“I played in the SEC, so we played guys like Alabama, Georgia, all of these big-time teams that have some tremendous players on them.

“So every week the competition is not that different from the NFL. The only thing that will be different is just the players are smarter.” 

Justin Jefferson on NFL vs College Football

The NFL has a lot of young players, but they also have several veterans with almost a decade or more of experience. Therefore, they know how to understand and analyse the game properly.

In crunch time, experience often helps players overcome difficult situations. But other than the experience, Jefferson noted that he didn’t see much difference between playing collegiate football and the NFL.

“They’ve been in the league eight years or however many they have been. So they study the game, they know the different types of movements, where you’re going to be on the field. S

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“o they’re a little bit smarter than in college. That’s the only thing that is really different from the SEC.”

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Can Justin Jefferson improve on his fantastic rookie season? He will get the chance with the Minnesota Vikings to do so. The Vikings haven’t found great success recently; therefore, there is little attention given to the team.

Therefore, Jefferson has the opportunity to learn and improve steadily without too much criticism.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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