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5 Things to Know About New Vikings Linebacker Brian Asamoah

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings added some depth to their linebackers group Friday by selecting Brian Asamoah in the third round with the 66th overall pick.

The redshirt junior is listed at 6-foot and 226 pounds on his bio page.

Analytics website Pro Football Focus ranked Asamoah as its 48th overall prospect.

Here are five things to know about the Vikings 2022 third-round draft pick.

1. Boomer Sooner

Asamoah played collegiately at Oklahoma, which is viewed as one of the premier programs in the country.

He appeared in 37 games after redshirting as a freshman in 2018, making 19 starts over the past two seasons for the Sooners.

Overall, Oklahoma went a combined 44-8 during Asamoah's time with the Sooners.

He played in 12 games (with 10 starts) in 2021, leading the team with 90 tackles on the way to earning Second-Team All-Big 12 honors from coaches and media members.

He also recorded 4.0 tackles for loss and forced two fumbles this past season, when he was a finalist for the Butkus Award, which is awarded to the nation's top linebacker.

Asamoah is the 11th Oklahoma player drafted to the Vikings in team history, but the first defensive player since linebacker Rufus Alexander in 2008. Minnesota has also added notable names such as running back Adrian Peterson (2007) and tackle Phil Loadholt (2009) from the school.

2. He has big-game experience

Asamoah helped guide the Sooners to plenty of success, as Oklahoma won three Big 12 championships during his time at the school.

The titles came in succession, as the first was during Asamoah's redshirt season. But he contributed for the final two in 2019 and 2020 to continue the streak. Oklahoma went 14-3 in conference play in 2019 and 2020.

Oklahoma also appeared in the College Football Playoff twice while Asamoah was with the team.

He had two tackles in a loss against LSU, a team that featured current Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson and Asamoah's draft classmate Ed Ingram.

3. Ghanaian roots

Asamoah's family descends from Ghana, a connection shared by Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

Both the Vikings GM and the linebacker talked about the significance of sharing the same heritage on Friday shortly after Asamoah was drafted.

"That was a special call for me. I told him, 'Did you ever think you'd fulfill your NFL dream with somebody named Kwesi?' " Adofo-Mensah said. "People call me Kwesi. It's pronounced differently where my family is from. He's through the moon, and that was a cool moment for both of us."

Asamoah added: "[It means] everything. I understand he's Ghanaian as well. To be able to be a part of the same club, same organization, it's everything. I told the story to him that when he first got hired, I was like, 'Whoa, a Ghanaian GM, that's crazy,' Now being able to play under him, it's crazy."

4. Plenty of speed

Asamoah said after his selection that he can cover any area of the field.

"[I'm] someone that can come in and run sideline to sideline. A run-and-chase 'backer, and also a cover 'backer as well."

And he has the numbers to back that up, as he ran a time of 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine. That time was the ninth-best among linebackers.

5. All of the emotions

Asamoah had one of the best reactions to his name being called of any of the 262 players drafted.

Moments later, Asamoah described his reaction to being an NFL draft pick.

"Just been waiting for this day, honestly," Asamoah said. "Didn't know where I was going to go. But I knew whatever team was going to be, it was going to be an absolute blessing. I'm ready to come in and come work."