The thought of Babatunde Aiyegbusi finding NFL stardom might seem implausible. But not as implausible as his massive, block-out-the-sun frame.
On Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings announced they had signed Aiyegbusi, a 6-foot-9, 351-pound offensive lineman from Poland.
Aiyegbusi’s tale sounds a bit like a WWE back-story. The 27-year-old native of Olesnica, Poland, never played college football. He toiled with the Dresden Monarchs of the German Football League in 2014. Before that, he fittingly played for the Wroclaw Giants, then the champions of the Polish American Football League.
Now, the giant they call "Babs" will try to find a permanent home in Minnesota, the supposed birthplace of Babe the Blue Ox. Aiyegbusi becomes the biggest player on the Vikings’ roster, casting a shadow that even eclipses 6-8, 343-pound tackle Phil Loadholt.
Agent Jeff Griffin helped Aiyegbusi receive the opportunity to participate at a recent pro day hosted by the University of Texas-San Antonio, where the lineman opened eyes. Aiyegbusi had obtained the necessary travel visa on March 19, then promptly boarded a 22-hour flight to San Antonio.
"I think everybody in Poland got behind this kid," Griffin told espn.com.
Aiyegbusi, who has a background in basketball, touched down in Texas at 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, ran through a quick tutorial later that day on the drills that would be run on Monday, and then impressed scouts enough that the Vikings decided to take a chance on him.
According to official numbers from Aiyegbusi’s pro day workout, the Poland native possesses a 26.5-inch vertical leap and a time of 5.28 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Aiyegbusi might be raw, but he’s also a rare specimen.
Should he make the Vikings’ final roster, the 6-9 mauler would become just the fifth Polish-born player in NFL annals, joining the likes of kickers Rich Szaro (1975-79), Chester Marcol (1972-80), Sebastian Janikowski (2000-present) and defensive tackle Jason Maniecki (1996-98).
The Vikings also announced on Thursday that they had waived linebacker Justin Anderson and guard Jordan McCray.