EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings claimed running back Wayne Gallman off waivers, the team announced Monday. He played six games with the Falcons this season but was released on Saturday.
During his short time in Atlanta, Gallman recorded 28 carries for 104 yards, and he added a single reception against the Cowboys in Week 10 that gained 21 yards.
Since entering the NFL in 2017 as a fourth-round draft pick of the New York Giants, Gallman has totaled 1,548 yards and nine touchdowns on 366 carries. He also has 81 career catches for 519 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
The claiming of Gallman, who will join Minnesota pending a physical exam, occurred as the Vikings announced Alexander Mattison has been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Here are five things to know about the Vikings newest running back:
1. Former Clemson standout
Gallman garnered ample attention over three seasons at Clemson.
From 2014-16, he racked up 675 carries for 3,416 yards (5.1 average) and 34 touchdowns, including 17 scores during his final season with the Tigers.
Gallman earned the nickname "Wayne Train" while at Clemson, and a train horn sounded in Memorial Stadium when he had a long run or a touchdown.
Gallman will reunite in Minnesota with former Tigers teammate Mackensie Alexander.
View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 5, 2022.
2. Georgia native
Gallman spent most of his formative years in Loganville, Georgia, where he attended Grayson High School.
At Grayson, Gallman teamed with Robert Nkemdiche, now a defensive tackle for the Seahawks, and Austin Meadows, who went on to play in the MLB and currently is an outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Minnesota now has four Georgia natives on its active roster; Gallman joins Chris Herndon (Norcross), Dalvin Tomlinson (McDonough) and D.J. Wonnum (Stone Mountain).
Practice squad players T.Y. McGill (Jesup) and T.J. Smith (Moultrie) also hail from the Peach State.
3. Son of a Marine
Gallman's parents divorced when he was just a baby, and he grew up mainly living with his mother in Georgia. His father, Wayne Gallman, Sr., served in the United States Marine Corps and relocated from assignments – including in Japan and Somalia – every 2-3 years.
Near the end of his military career, Gallman Sr. settled in Jacksonville, Florida, and Gallman Jr. opted to live with his father during his eighth- and ninth-grade years.
"Ever since then, we've been as close as we can be," Gallman Jr. said during an interview at Clemson.
4. Looked up to Payton & Peterson
As a rookie with the Giants in 2017, Gallman participated in a Q&A with New York Post columnist Steve Serby, who asked him which NFL running back (current or former) he'd like to learn from through questions.
Gallman mentioned former Viking Adrian Peterson in his response.
"Of course A.P., but also maybe Walter Payton. Walter Payton's just a physical back, man," Gallman told Serby at the time. "I'm not at that point yet where I'm fully comfortable going outside the box and doing what I want to do outside the system. You know how today we see Le'Veon [Bell] — he has his own style, he knows his line, he knows he could be patient, and when to hit it, stuff like that. I don't think I'm fully there yet, but that's a question I'd ask. That's where I want to be."
5. Dog dad
Gallman has a standard Schnauzer named Apollo, and he has an Instagram highlight dedicated to the pup.