EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings have added to their defensive line group.
Minnesota has signed defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga from the Falcons practice squad, the team announced Tuesday.
Tonga had only been with Atlanta for four weeks. A 2021 seventh-round draft pick by Chicago, he spent his rookie campaign and this offseason with the Bears before being waived on Aug. 31.
Here are five things to know about the Vikings newest defensive tackle:
1. Played at BYU
Tonga played four seasons (2017-20) at Brigham Young University. According to the school's stats, he totaled 130 tackles (69 solo), 5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, 12 passes defensed and two forced fumbles in 50 games.
As a senior in 2020, Tonga recorded 36 tackles, 2.0 sacks and five passes defensed in 11 games.
2. Multisport athlete
Tonga attended Granger High School (Utah) where he made the All-Region 2 First-Team in football as a freshman, playing both offensive and defensive line and tight end. Tonga also played rugby.
3. Overcame hardships
In a video produced for BYU, Tonga talked about his childhood experience, saying his birth mother experienced homelessness during his high school years.
There were times his mom would stay in a women's shelter, he noted, and he would find various places to stay. Prior to his senior year of high school, Tonga was being looked after by a family friend but got into trouble. He was then adopted by George and Siu Tonga and developed his Mormon faith.
4. Man of faith
According to a video feature produced by BYU, George was driving Khyiris to the University of Utah when Khyiris declared he wanted to instead serve a Mormon mission.
Khyiris opted to serve his two-year mission out of high school, traveling to Wichita, Kansas, before starting his collegiate career.
5. Girl dad
Tonga has a daughter, Siesia, who turned 1 in June.