Justin Jefferson vows ‘extra to come back’ after successful Offensive Player of the Year

PHOENIX — Minnesota Vikings vast receiver Justin Jefferson gained Offensive Player of the Year at NFL Honors on Thursday night.

As if there was any doubt.

Jefferson led the league in receiving yards through the 2022 NFL season, amassing 1,809 from his quarterback Kirk Cousins. He led the league in receptions, too, with 128. Oh, and he did it at age 23, changing into the youngest participant to steer the league in receiving yards in league historical past. 

“It’s an honor just to be around these people and being nominated for an award,” Jefferson mentioned on the purple carpet earlier than the present. “It just goes to show you all the hard work that I’ve been doing.”

The fruits of his labor have been plentiful. Jefferson registered 100 or extra receiving yards in video games this previous season, serving to propel Minnesota to a 13-4 file and the NFC North title. More than the stats, although, had been the intangibles. Not solely was Jefferson Minnesota’s most efficient participant this season, he was their most clutch. 

Look no additional than Week 10 in opposition to the Bills. If you thought Odell Beckham Jr.’s iconic one-handed seize was spectacular, Jefferson mentioned “hold my beer” in Buffalo. 

Laid out as if he had been doing the backstroke in mid-air, Jefferson nabbed the ball with three fingers in between a defender’s arms to grab it away. Not solely had been the acrobatics jaw-dropping, the catch itself was contested, not like Beckham’s free-fall into the top zone. And did I point out JJ’s play got here on fourth-and-18 with Minnesota trailing within the closing minutes of regulation.

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Fittingly, the sequence was chosen “Best Moment of the Year” and is one in every of many (many) examples from this season wherein Jefferson got here via for a Minnesota crew that completed an unbelievable 11-0 in one-score video games.  

Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell was available to see Jefferson win the OPOY award, sitting behind him at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix. After he hugged his dad and mom, Jefferson instantly rotated and hugged O’Connell, too. The celebrity wideout then bought up in entrance of an auditorium crammed together with his friends and bought choked up whereas thanking his household 

“My parents, John and Elaine Jefferson, y’all made me who I am today,” he mentioned, preventing again tears. “More to come.”

No kidding. Jefferson, in any case, has probably the most catches (324) and receiving yards (4,825) in NFL historical past after three seasons.

“I’m going to celebrate with my friends and family, of course,” Jefferson mentioned unassumingly earlier than the present. “It’s just an honor to even be recognized for the amount of stuff I did this season, so I’m going to celebrate either way, but I guess we’ll see.”

There’s no “we’ll see” about it. Jefferson and his household have a lot to rejoice nowadays.

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