EAGAN, Minn.— The Vikings have added depth to their offensive backfield. Minnesota signed running back Myles Gaskin on Wednesday, a day after setting its initial 53-man roster.
Gaskin, 26, is a former 2019 seventh-round pick of the Miami Dolphins. He led Miami in rushing yards during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. The Dolphins released Gaskin on Tuesday.
He'll join a Vikings running back room that features projected starter Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler and Kene Nwangwu, who will start the season on Injured Reserve. Minnesota also has fullback and team captain C.J. Ham on the roster.
Here are five things to know about Gaskin:
1) Reunited with Coach Brian Flores and Byron Murphy
Gaskin was a part of Brian Flores's first draft class as the Dolphins Head Coach in 2019. Miami selected Gaskin at No. 234 (seventh round).
Under Flores, Gaskin had a fast start to his career. He led the team in rushing in two of his first three seasons. In Week 16 of the 2020 season, he made a 59-yard, game-winning touchdown reception against the Raiders. Four weeks prior, his 30-yard run set up a game-winning score versus the Jets.
The following season, Gaskin rushed for a career-high 612 yards despite only starting 10 games.
Reuniting with Flores as the Vikings defensive coordinator, Gaskin wasn't surprised by his first impressions of Minnesota's locker room and culture.
"Walking in the locker room and meeting everyone, and not just the players, everyone on staff, that the culture is real family-oriented," Gaskin said. "Everyone wants to make it a home and is focused on winning, but everyone is one."
Gaskin and Flores is not the only reunion taking place this week. Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy, Jr. and Gaskin played together at Washington for three seasons before both were drafted in 2019.
Murphy was a redshirt freshman during Gaskin's sophomore season. Once Gaskin was a junior, Murphy emerged as a star and started consecutive seasons. Gaskin and Murphy won 20 games in two collegiate seasons together and played in the Fiesta Bowl (2017) and Rose Bowl (2018). Washington was ranked 16th and 13th in respective seasons.
Gaskin said he does not personally know any Vikings players beyond Murphy, whose face he was thrilled to see on his first day.
"I played college ball with [Byron]," Gaskin said. "I went to college with him for three years. That's my dog. I was excited to see him in the lunch room this morning."
2) Made history at the University of Washington
Gaskin was the first true freshman in Huskies history to reach 1,000 rushing yards. He didn't stop there.
As a four-year starter, Gaskin is the school's all-time leading rusher. He finished with more than 5,300 rushing yards and joined former Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne as the only player in FBS history with four 1,200-yard rushing seasons.
He averaged more than 15 touchdowns per season during his four years at Washington. His 57 rushing scores are the most in school history, 20 more than any other Husky.
3) Pacific Northwest Roots
Gaskin's Pacific Northwest legacy started far before he enrolled at Washington.
He was raised in Lynnwood, Washington, a northern suburb of Seattle. He attended O'Dea High School in Seattle and became the team's starting running back as a junior. That season, he rushed for 2,182 yards and scored 35 touchdowns.
Gaskin excelled at basketball, soccer and track and field growing up. During his junior season, he committed to Washington and focused on football.
4) A versatile pass catcher
In 2020, Gaskin became the first Dolphins rookie running back to eclipse 100 scrimmage yards in three or more games since Dolphins legend Mercury Morris accomplished the same feat in 1969.
Gaskin showcased his pass-catching ability throughout his second season. He gained 50 or more receiving yards three times, including a career-high 82 yards against the Raiders.
Over his four-year career, Gaskin has averaged 6.9 yards per reception.
5) Consistently giving back
Gaskin proudly gives back to his Pacific Northwest roots.
This summer, he partnered with Richmond Junior Football in Shoreline, Washington, as part of the All Gas No Breaks camp.
On his Instagram, Gaskin shared a video of him working with youth football players. He wrote:
"It's all about community. Thank you, everybody, that came out. I can't wait to see y'all next year."