Meet the 4 Players Quietly Added by Vikings in Last 2 Weeks

Sep 14, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Western Kentucky Hilltoppers wide receiver Lucky Jackson (11) drops a touchdown pass in front of coverage from Louisville Cardinals defensive back Russ Yeast (3) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports.

It must be May and June because the Minnesota Vikings are adding players most of the world has never heard of.

But that’s why we’re here. To fill in the gaps.

Meet the 4 Players Quietly Added by Vikings in Last 2 Weeks

In the last three weeks, the Vikings have traded Za’Darius Smith to the Cleveland Browns, waived pass rusher Kenny Willekes, and watched as tight end Ben Ellefson retired. That opened up a handful of roster spots as Minnesota has room for 90 players until August 29th — so meet the new guys.

1. Lucky Jackson (WR)

quietly added
Sep 2, 2017; Bowling Green, KY, United States; WKU Hilltoppers wide receiver Lucky Jackson (11) makes a catch for a touchdown during the game between Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky at Houchens-Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports.

With a name that appears written by Hollywood screenwriters, Lucky became a Viking on May 23rd. A very recent alumnus of the XFL’s DC Defenders, Jackson will now compete for a roster spot with the 2023 Vikings. His climb is rugged, but stranger things have happened than Jackson landing a spot on the active roster or practice squad. He’s 25 years old, 6’0,” and 185 pounds.

Jackson was a marvelous performer in college, slicing and dicing opponents at Western Kentucky for 2,680 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns in 47 games at the school. He’s from Kentucky, too, and spent time in the CFL before trying the XFL on for size.

In the XFL, 2023 was dreamy for Jackson. He tallied 573 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns, which both ranked fifth-best in the upstart football league. The XFL championship occurred on May 13, with the Arlington Renegades toppling Jackson’s Defenders, and 10 days later, Jackson signed on the Vikings dotted line.

Like all men on this list, he is unlikely to make the Vikings regular season roster on August 29th.

2. Garett Maag (WR)

Quietly Signed
Garett Maag, WR of the University of North Dakota Fighting Bison. Named HERO Sports’ Top FCS Player to Wear No. 89 entering 2021. Earned the MVFC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award. Selected as a team captain. Image Courtesy of Garett Maag on Twitter.

A North Dakota alumnus and former resident of Inver Grove Heights, Maag will hope to spin his best Adam Thielen tale with the Vikings. He joined the club on June 2nd and is the Vikings 13th active wide receiver on the roster at the moment.

He notched 165 receptions for 2,247 yards and 19 touchdowns in five years at UND and tried out with the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles this year before securing a deal with the Vikings.

Maag is 6’4″ and 205 pounds, meaning he has the size to play in the pros. We shall see if he has ‘the rest’ in his football DNA.

The new Viking slid onto the roster after Ben Ellefson’s retirement this week.

3. Zach Ojile (FB)

Image courtesy of

This University of Minnesota Duluth alumnus played four seasons collegiately and tallied 61 catches for 702 yards and 10 touchdowns in 40 games. Ojile also rushed 87 times for 418 yards and 14 TDs, playing some running back for the Bulldogs.

Ojile is 6’4″ and 240 pounds, acting as a hybrid TE-FB type in the mold of Jim Kleinsasser from years past.

He won’t dethrone C.J. Ham but can perhaps land on the practice squad and eye an active roster spot if something happens to Ham.

4. Sam Schlueter (OT)

Minnesota offensive lineman Sam Schlueter (70) blocks Purdue defensive end DaMarcus Mitchell (15) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind. © Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

This 25-year-old Gopher joined the NFL via undrafted free agency in 2022 and spent time with the San Francisco 49ers and New York Jets. Then in 2023, he tried out for the Vikings, and voila, he’ll join the franchise this summer and vie for a roster spot.

Lindsey Young from highlighted the addition and explained Schlueter’s role at the University of Minnesota in 2021. “In 2021 for the Gophers, Schlueter started all 13 games and blocked for an offense that recorded 4,681 total yards and averaged 25.5 points per game. He received Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Schlueter played right and left tackle for the U of M.”

Schlueter has the best odds of winning a roster spot among the four recently added players.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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