EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings have added a former Golden Gopher to their offensive line.
Minnesota signed Nate Wozniak, the team announced Sunday. The 24-year-old played primarily tight end during his collegiate career but was converted to a tackle at the pro level.
Wozniak was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Saints last May and spent the 2018 season on the New Orleans practice squad. He was waived by the Saints on Wednesday.
View exclusive images shot by Vikings team photographer Andy Kenutis as the Vikings and Saints competed against each other in the first preseason game of the year at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Here are five things to know about Wozniak:
1. Back to Minnesota
Wozniak is quite familiar with the Twin Cities after spending four seasons (2014-18) with the Golden Gophers.
During his time in the Maroon and Gold, he played 43 games and totaled 28 catches for 314 yards. He was described as a “dependable blocker” for Minnesota.
Wozniak is the second former Gopher on the Vikings roster. He joins cornerback Craig James, who played at the University of Minnesota with Wozniak from 2014-15 before transferring to Southern Illinois.
2. Inches above the rest
Wozniak brings plenty of length to the Vikings offensive line room.
Listed at 6-foot-10, he is taller than any of his new teammates by at least three inches. Storm Norton and Brian O’Neill are each listed at 6-7.
At 280 pounds, however, he is the position group’s lightest player.
3. Pro Day measurables
Wozniak was not invited to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine but did participate in the Gophers Pro Day that April.
He clocked in at 5.10 seconds in the 40-yard dash, completed 16 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and reached 32 inches in the vertical jump.
If Wozniak had competed at the combine, his 40 time would have tied for seventh-fastest among offensive linemen, and his vertical jump would have ranked fourth.
4. Indiana native
Wozniak is a native of Greenwood, Indiana, located 11 miles south of Indianapolis.
Vikings tight end Brandon Dillon also is from Indiana. His hometown of Flora is a 90-minute drive from Greenwood.
5. High school standout
Wozniak attended Center Grove High School (Greenwood), where as a senior he helped lead the team to a 12-2 record and advanced to the Class 5A semifinals.
That season, he caught 28 passes for 331 yards and five touchdowns en route to being named a member of the 2012 Indianapolis Star Super Team.
Other notable Center Grove alumni include former NFL tight end Aaron Halterman and actor Brad Long, best known for playing captain “Buddy” Walker in the 1986 film, Hoosiers.