LOCALS IN THE NFL
Minnesota Vikings Re-Sign Defensive Tackle Khyiris Tonga
SALT LAKE CITY – The Minnesota Vikings announced that they’ve re-signed former BYU football standout defensive tackle Khyris Tonga.
The NFL franchise announced the deal on Friday, February 17.
Tonga was set to become an exclusive rights free agent in March.
RELATED: 2023 Local NFL Free Agency Tracker
The #Vikings have re-signed DL Khyiris Tonga, who was set to become an exclusive rights free agent. https://t.co/KaHkybCSZZ pic.twitter.com/FfXEBnVcRw
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) February 17, 2023
“I just think, and you guys probably feel it, too, but I just think he plays with a level of physicality in the run game — that knockback that you look for. It shows up on tape,” Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said of Tonga in December 2022. “You consistently see him splitting double teams, you consistently see him get push into people’s run games that allows E.K. (Eric Kendricks) and Jordan [Hicks] and Brian [Asamoah II] to go run and try to make tackles.
Tonga was signed by Minnesota in October 2022 after he was released by the Chicago Bears.
Tonga was originally selected by the Bears with the No. 250 overall pick during the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft. After joining the Vikings, Tonga recorded 28 total tackles, 12 solo tackles, 0.5 sacks, and four pass breakups in 11 games.
Tonga and the Vikings finished the regular season with a 13-4 record and were eliminated by the New York Giants during the Wild Card round of the postseason.
During his NFL career, the former BYU standout has totaled 52 total tackles, 22 solo tackles, 0.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, and four pass breakups in 26 games played.
And a game ball goes to… @khyiristonga
(via @Vikings) pic.twitter.com/dbRWfQu9pR
— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) January 9, 2023
About Khyiris Tonga
Before his time at BYU, Tonga was a standout player for Granger High School. He was rated as a two-star player in the class of 2017 by 247Sports.
Tonga signed with BYU in early 2017. After his high school career, Tonga played for the Cougars from 2017-20.
He played in 13 games as a freshman and finished his first season with 19 total tackles, nine solo tackles, two sacks, four tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and three pass breakups.
In his sophomore campaign, Tonga had 30 total tackles, 20 solo tackles, two sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss, one quarterback hit, and two pass breakups in 13 contests.
As a junior in 2019, he had 45 total tackles, 28 solo tackles, one sack, four tackles for loss, one quarterback hit, and two pass breakups in 13 games.
In 11 games played during his senior year, Tonga had 36 total tackles, 12 solo tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, three quarterback hits, and five pass breakups.
Khyiris Tonga just invented the nose tackle blitz. You might want to block that guy #ouch #BYU #BYUFootball pic.twitter.com/n6pWSzzEOL
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) September 27, 2020
Tonga helped the Cougars to an 11-1 record in his final season in Provo.
The defensive lineman finished his college career with 130 total tackles, 69 solo tackles, 7.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, five quarterback hits, and 12 pass breakups.
Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).
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