Former Pitt star Jaylen Twyman reported to Minnesota Vikings training camp on Sunday for the first time since suffering four gunshot wounds. Drew Rosenhaus, Twyman’s agent, told Adam Schefter of ESPN the rookie had recovered enough to return to the field.
Twyman was in Washington, D.C., visiting a family member when he and three other people were shot on the 300 block of 50th Street in the nation’s capital in June. Twyman was shot four times, but he did not require surgery. His wounds were described as superficial at the time. Rosenhaus said that the unfortunate incident was a case of Twyman being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Washington is Twyman’s hometown, and he was once a star at H.D. Woodson High School, less than a mile away from where last month’s shooting occurred. The defensive tackle came to Pitt in 2017 and rose to national prominence during a breakout 2019 season.
The 6’2”, 290-pound defensive tackle is in his first NFL offseason after being selected by the Vikings with the No. 199 overall pick in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft. With the pick, Twyman was reunited with former Pitt defensive end Patrick Jones, the first Pitt alum off the board in 2021. Jones went to the Vikings in the third round at No. 90 overall.
Twyman voluntarily brought his Pitt career to an end in August 2020, when he made the decision to opt out of the 2020 season and focus on preparing for the 2021 draft. That decision proved to have a negative impact on his draft standing and professional prospects, as he fell down draft boards from a likely early- to mid-round pick to a late-round selection.
Despite the late selection, much is expected of Twyman in the NFL — at least among those who witnessed his transformation from a marginal contributor to the centerpiece of a Pitt pass-rush unit that led the nation with 51 sacks in 13 games in 2019. And with another chance to prove his mettle, Twyman will look to take another step forward and secure a roster spot for himself in Minneapolis.