BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The magnetic appeal that has made Alvin Kamara one of the NFL's biggest rising stars is on full display now that he's made his descent on the Twin Cities for Super Bowl LII week.
Kamara, who began a couple of days worth of promotional appearances by making the rounds on Radio Row at the Mall of America, on Wednesday, is being given the full movie-star treatment.
Fans stop him every couple of steps to ask for a selfie or an autograph, or hand him a bag of Airheads. Former and current NFL stars keep stopping him to shake his hand. One kid in a Marshfield flag football shirt told Kamara he's a sure bet for Rookie of the Year this morning, then ran him down again as he left the mall to tell him he's a shoo-in again.
All of this attention is still a lot to process.
"I don't like it when it's like, 'you're a superstar,' Kamara said. "I just try to stay normal."
Even when Kamara isn't on media duty, he gets the rock star treatment. Kamara arrived in Minnesota on Tuesday and headed into the Mall of America to shop, buying a denim jacket that he wore to Radio Row on Wednesday.
Fans stopped him for selfies in the store, leaned in so close that Kamara said it was like the fan 'smelled his burger' at lunch.
Such is the life of one of the NFL's newest stars. Kamara, who is staying in a house with teammates Cameron Jordan, Michael Thomas and Mark Ingram, has a full week ahead of him, including playing Madden against Travis Kelce at the EA Sports Bowl on Thursday night, and of course, the big Rookie of the Year announcement on Saturday at the NFL Honors show.
"It's hard to keep it vanilla and keep it normal, because people follow me around like 'Alvin! Alvin!'" Kamara said. "I don't live like that, I don't think like that. I'm not like, 'I'm Alvin Kamara, the running back.' I'll just be walking around the mall and somebody'll grab me and be like, 'hey, give me an autograph.'"