Canadian defensive end Luiji Vilain has signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent, according to Tom Pelissero. He went unselected in the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday.
The Ottawa native began his NCAA career as one of the highest-rated defensive line recruits in the United States following a stint at Episcopal High School in Virginia. He originally committed to the University of Michigan, where he recorded just eleven tackles and one sack in twelve career games due to injury.
The 23-year-old transferred to Wake Forest for his final college football season in 2021 and the decision paid off. He recorded 34 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, eight sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery, all of which were new career-highs.
The Canadian was a late riser in the NFL Draft process after a stellar pro day in March. Vilain checked in at six-foot-four and 255 pounds, before clocking a 4.75-second forty-yard dash with a lightning quick 1.57-second ten-yard split.
The Demon Deacon standout posted 21 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press while jumping 35-inches in the vertical and nine-feet, ten-inches in the broad. Vilain’s three-cone time of 7.01 seconds would have ranked him third among his position group at the NFL Combine, while his 4.25-second short shuttle would have been fourth.
The Toronto Argonauts drafted Vilain 25th overall in the third round of the 2021 CFL Draft in the hopes that the incredible athlete would fall into their lap early. It now appears that they will have to wait a little longer, if Vilain ever returns north of the border at all.