Thanks to a program promoting the integration of international players in the league, the French Junior Aho obtained a place in an NFL roster.
A French soon on the grounds in the NFL? In any case, it takes the path. On Tuesday, May 4, the NFL announced the eight players who will benefit from the International Player Pathway Program, which allows international players to integrate NFL rosters by creating an additional place in the workforce. In this selection, we therefore find the French Junior Aho, who will be part of the Minnesota Vikings in 2023.
Eight players from three countries have been added to NFL rosters for the 2023 season through the International Player Pathway Program: pic.twitter.com/pdPJvcfHX9
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 4, 2023
Registered for the 2023 NFL Draft where he was not selected, he therefore benefits from this program which offers him a place in the roster of a franchise, within the practice squad. He is the first Frenchman to be so close to playing in the NFL since receiver Anthony Mahoungou, cut by the Philadelphia Eagles before the start of the 2018 season.
Regular season goal
At 24, Junior Aho has just completed a three-year course at SMU, a Texas university near the city of Dallas which plays in the conference AAFC. In 2022, the Mustangs, nickname for the football team’s players, finished their season with a 7-6 record and lost in the New Mexico Bowl against BYU (23-24).
On a personal note, Junior Aho, who plays as a defensive tackle, has played 13 games in 2022 for 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 2 tackles for loss. In three seasons at SMU, he totaled 5 sacks in 24 games.
The hardest part is now to be done for this player of 1m93 and 117 kilos, who will have to find a place with the Vikings. On a position which is far from being the most provided in Minnesota, he will be in particular in competition with Khyiris Tonga or the rookie Jaquelin Roy, drafted in the 5th round this year.
If he plays a meeting in 2023 in the regular season, he would become the first Frenchman to achieve such a performance since Richard Tardits in the 90s.