According to Craig Peters of Vikings.com, the Vikings have signed Polish offensive lineman Babatunde Aiyegbusi. Less than 10 days ago, the 6’9″, 351-lb Aiyegbusi was still living overseas.
Aiyegbusi’s agent, Jeff Griffin, helped the 27-year-old find his way to an NFL contract despite never even playing college football.
The lineman received his travel visa on March 19, and he arrived in the States shortly after. Aiyegbusi first participated in a pro day hosted by the University of Texas-San Antonio.
“We went over those drills for about an hour and a half,” Griffin told Wright. “He got up Monday morning and performed those drills. So what you saw, that was raw. He had just learned the day before, then went out there and did it.”
On Wednesday, the Vikings hosted Aiyegbusi at Winter Park. Just one day later, he is signing a contract. Apparently, they liked what they saw.
In 2014, Aiyegbusi played for the Dresden Monarchs as part of the German Football League. The year before, he played for the Wroclaw Giants, who won the Polish American Football League championship.
A polish journalist described Aiyegbusi as “the most dominant player in the history of Polish football” to VT writer Arif Hasan. I’m taking that with a grain of salt, considering the level of Polish football, but the praise is note-worthy nonetheless.
There have been four other Polish players in the NFL prior to Aiyegbusi, including current kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
Aiyegbusi weighs in at a little larger than Phil Loadholt … which is big. It definitely looks like he’ll be a little green around the edges, but Aiyegbusi could be a huge (no pun intended) asset for an offensive line that struggled most of last season.
Here is a look at Aiyegbusi’s Pro Day stats:
20-yard split: 2.96
10-yard split: 1.78
Short Shuttle: 5.24
Three Cone: 8.21
Broad Jump: 9’2″”The formula I used for evaluating combine performances for offensive tackles would have had him score higher than anyone at the combine, including Jake Fisher,” said Hasan. “This is mostly because of his fast 10-yard split, which is very good for any offensive tackle but also incredible for a 351-pound man.”Lastly, if you’re wondering how to pronounce his name, here you go:
The #Vikings say that his name is pronounced Babatunde (bah-BUH-tune-day) Aiyegbusi (ah-YEG-boo-see). But you probably knew that already.
— Matt Vensel (@mattvensel) March 26, 2015