Homegrown, Ex-Vikings Center Gets Another Shot in NFL

Jake Lacina

Courtesy of Jurgens Photography/Augustana Athletics St. Paul native Jake Lacina had a tryout with the Dolphins after an impressive showing in the USFL.

Jake Lacina may not be a familiar name to Minnesota Vikings fans, but his roots in the North Star State run deep.

Jake is the son of Corbin Lacina, a Mankato-born NFL offensive lineman who played for the Vikings from 1999 to 2002. Jake attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul before following in his father’s footsteps and attending Augustana College in South Dakota.

He was a four-year starter, earned consensus Division II All-American honors and won the Rimmington Trophy, given to college football’s best center annually, his senior year before going undrafted in 2020. Lacina was signed by the Vikings during training camp that summer but didn’t make the final 53-man roster or the practice squad.

Jake hadn’t appeared on the NFL landscape for over a year but recently surfaced with a workout for the Miami Dolphins that has generated buzz in the Dolphins fan base.

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Lacina Visits Dolphins for Workout

On August 7, Lacina visited the Dolphins for a workout, All Dolphins’ Alain Poupert reported. He was joined by Cohl Cabral, who had a stint with the Vikings in 2021, and Cole Toner.

It’s Lacina’s first reported NFL workout since he was cut by the Vikings in September 2020. He’s remained sharp since then, most recently playing for the New Jersey Generals in the USFL.

After dropping their first game of the season, the Generals won nine straight games to lead the North Division standings with a 9-1 record. Lacina was a vital piece to New Jersey’s success, helping the Generals average 160.6 rushing yards per game, the most of any team in the USFL.

The Dolphins have yet to sign any of the three centers that auditioned as of Tuesday afternoon, however, Miami fans have taken to Lacina, adopting the hashtag “#LacinatoMiami” on Twitter.

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‘The Dream is Not Over by Any Means’

Lacina not making the cut for the Vikings’ 53-man roster in 2020 ended a first-time bid for the son of a Vikings player to make the team.

However, despite not making the 53-man roster, Lacina was still optimistic about his NFL dreams.

“Definitely, the dream is not over by any means, but to do what I’ve done so far is pretty cool,’’ Lacina told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.

Lacina making it through Vikings training camp that summer was a feat in itself. That year, the NFL COVID-19 protocols in place limited training camp rosters to 80 players, which further cut into the finite amount of opportunities Lacina had to make an impression. There were also no preseason games, which are beneficial, especially for undrafted free agents, to show their ability in a game situation.

He made it through six weeks of training camp and was a cutdown day casualty.

“Absolutely, he has the ability, he just needs the opportunity,” Corbin Lacina told Tomasson. “It’s so weird to pick a football team with no preseason games. Young guys can look good in the preseason and veteran guys can look not as good. He just needs to stay in shape and be ready to go, and he’ll be fine.”

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