HISTORY: Brent Laing signs rookie deal with New York Jets, Ojile agrees to Vikings mini-camp invite.

Published: May. 1, 2023 at 6:42 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - It was a historic weekend for the Bulldog Football. For the first time since 2014, a Bulldog has signed a deal in the NFL.

Bulldog captain and All-American lineman Brent Laing signed an undrafted free-agent deal with the New York Jets.

Laing told us the Jets were the first team to reach out, about 10 picks before the end of the draft, with an offer. He said he felt comfortable with the deal and signed it.

Shortly after that, another Bulldog captain signed a mini-camp deal.

Zach Ojile accepted a mini-camp invitation with the Minnesota Vikings.

We spoke to both players on Monday about the process and their feelings about getting a shot at the next level.

“Yeah, I had a bunch of family over watching it with me, it was kind of a roller coaster of a day. You don’t really know what to do, hanging onto my phone, making sure that it was not on silent,” Laing said. “And when the end of the draft came near it got pretty intense kind of watching every pick go by hoping your name is called next. But it didn’t really work out that way and now I’m super thrilled to be a Jet.

“I knew there was a chance maybe I could get a rookie mini-camp deal, so after the draft was over I was kind of staying close by to my phone and my agent called me and let me know the Vikings invited me and I was pretty excited and pretty thrilled to get an opportunity,” recalled Ojile.

As for head coach Curt Weise, he shared the same excitement with his former captains.

“I know our staff has probably never watched the draft as closely as we did this week. These guys are going to be given the exact same opportunity as everybody drafted does and these guys have earned that. It hasn’t been handed to them and they understand that and it’s been a great, wild ride, it really has, the amount of attention on campus and on our program the last two years has been as high as it’s ever been and there’s a reason why,” Wiese said.

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