EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings added to their linebacker corps last weekend with the selection of Oregon's Troy Dye in the fourth round.
Dye, whom Minnesota drafted from the 132nd overall spot, started 13 games for the Ducks last season. He recorded 84 tackles with 9.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles en route to First-Team All-Pac-12 honors.
Dye is the only player in Oregon history to lead the team in tackles for four consecutive seasons. He finished third in program history in career tackles (397) and tied for fourth in tackles for loss (44.0).
Here are five things to know about the Vikings new linebacker:
1. Rose Bowl champs
Dye helped Oregon defeat Wisconsin 28-27 on New Year's Day, giving the Ducks a Rose Bowl title to go along with their Pac-12 championship.
Quarterback Justin Herbert, whom the Chargers drafted sixth overall, ran for three scores in the gritty game.
Dye recorded nine tackles a year after helping the Ducks win the Redbox Bowl and deciding to return to Oregon for his senior season.
"Every ounce of sweat, blood, tears – all the stadium workouts – every piece of it was worth it," Dye said after the win. "We're Pac-12 champs, Rose Bowl champs. I'm just proud of the boys."
2. Duck, Duck … Gray Duck?
Dye is the fourth Oregon player drafted by the Vikings in franchise history.
He will be reunited with former Ducks teammate Dillon Mitchell, whom the Vikings drafted 239th overall in 2019. Mitchell, who lived with Dye when the two attended Oregon together, spent last season on Minnesota's practice squad.
The Vikings tabbed the other two Oregon products in 2003.
Wide receiver Keenan Howry also was a seventh-round selection (221st overall). He went on to play 49 games for Minnesota as a special teams contributor. Howry returned 49 punts for 358 yards and 14 kickoffs for 316 yards.
Minnesota that year also tabbed running back Onterrio Smith 105th overall. Smith played two seasons for the Vikings, totaling 231 carries for 1,123 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
Vikings Ring of Honor member Ahmad Rashad also was a standout for the Ducks before being drafted fourth overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972. He joined the Vikings in 1976 and played in Purple through 1982.
"He is a big playmaker," Rashad told Vikings.com of Dye. "Always around the ball, always making big plays! Smart and very efficient – and most importantly, a former Duck!"
View photos of Vikings new fourth round draft pick Oregon LB Troy Dye.
3. Family and football
Dye and his girlfriend, Kenzie Dunmore, an All-American sprinter at Oregon, welcomed a baby boy on April 7. Dunmore was on the 2017 4x400 relay team that won the NCAA title with a school-record time of 3:23.13.
When asked by a reporter via video conference about the ways his life would change after being drafted, Dye said that life "life has changed already" with the arrival of his son.
"We've been doing that whole new parent thing, and we've been having a great time with it, getting our sleeping schedules down. Life is changing," Dye said. "This whole month has been a new adventure, and I'm looking forward to it because that's what life is about – new adventures and new journeys."
4. Shares high school alma mater with former Viking
Dye hails from Norco, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.
He attended Norco High School, where he was rated as a three-star safety by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. As a senior, he led the team with 105 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and four interceptions in 11 games.
Other notable Norco alumni include former Vikings running back Toby Gerhart, who played for Minnesota from 2010-13 before spending two seasons with Jacksonville.
5. Looking up to LBs
Dye is a big fan of two fellow California natives who now will share a position room with him, Vikings linebackers Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks.
While Kendricks is from Fresno, nearly 300 miles from Norco, Barr's hometown of San Pedro is just under 60 miles from where Dye grew up.
"Now that I'm [Barr's] teammate, I'm going to be able to pick his brain and really get to know what he does and why he does it," Dye told Twin Cities media members via video conference. "The thing that stands out to me is he's a big, long athletic guy that's able to cover space really well, [and] he understands the game."
Including the 2020 draft picks and UDFAs, Minnesota's roster – which stands at 87 players currently – contains 10 California natives.