Thomson's Brinkley thankful for Vikings return

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March 17, 2014 THOMSON, Ga-- Before he returns to his NFL home, Jasper Brinkley made a stop to his actual hometown.

The Thomson-native and, newly signed, Minnesota Vikings linebacker gave more than his time to a local elementary school Monday.

Brinkley spent the day at Thomson's Norris Elementary, giving out books and speaking with students. The event was part of an essay contest to challenge the kids to read. The winner receives prizes from Brinkley. All part of making sure the students keep their eyes on the prize.

"I just really want them to know athleticism only lasts for a certain amount of years. When it starts to diminish, what are you left with? That's your brain and education. They can take everything away from you, but they can't take away the degree," Brinkley said.

As for on the football field, Brinkley is back in the purple and gold. Brinkley signed with the Vikings, the team that drafted him in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

After spending last year in Arizona, Brinkley wasn't on the market long, signing with minnesota quickly in the free agency period. The decision was simple, it's where Brinkley wanted to be.

"You know, I always said Minnesota was home because that was the first NFL team that took a chance on me. I always had it in my heart that they made the right choice by picking me," Brinkley said.

Brinkley is looking to get 10 years out of an NFL career. He'll be entering his sixth season this coming fall. Though, he doesn't plan to go too far away from the field after his playing days. Brinkley wants to be a high school football coach.