Brandon Zylstra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Brandon Zylstra
No. 11 – Carolina Panthers
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1993-03-25) March 25, 1993 (age 26)
Spicer, Minnesota
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:New London-Spicer
(New London, Minnesota)
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
  • CFL All-Star (2017)
  • CFL West All-Star (2017)
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:23
Receiving touchdowns:0
Player stats at
Career CFL statistics
Receiving yards:2,195
Receiving touchdowns:8
Player stats at

Brandon Zylstra (born March 25, 1993) is an American football wide receiver and punt returner for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Concordia-Moorhead. After going undrafted in 2016, Zylstra signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

High school career[edit]

After playing football at New London-Spicer High School in New London, Minnesota, Zylstra did not receive any Division I scholarship offers.

College career[edit]

Zylstra played college football at Augustana University for a year and then Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.[1][2] In 2013, during his first year at Concordia, he caught 41 passes for 774 yards with seven touchdowns. In 2014, while working a summer job on the grounds crew at Moorhead Country Club, he suffered a foot injury which required surgery, ending his season. He finished his college career with 1,932 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns in 29 games with the Cobbers.

Zylstra was also an outstanding track and field athlete at Concordia. In 2015, Zylstra helped lead his team to a first-place finish at the Cobber Duals, clearing the bar at 6'8" (2.03m) to win the high jump, and traveling a distance of 21'6.75" (6.57m) to win the long jump.[3] He posted a personal-best leap of 22'5.75" (6.85m) in the long jump at the Thundering Herd Classic on February 7. Later in the season, Zylstra came away with the only event win for Concordia at the Cobber Twilight Meet. His 6'9" high jump tied the school-record mark set by Joe Schmidgall back in 2000. He also won the long jump competition with a mark of 21'10" (6.65m).[4] Zylstra ultimately broke the record at the MIAC meet, clearing 6'10.75" (2.10m).[5]

Professional career[edit]

Before the 2016 NFL Draft, Zylstra participated in North Dakota State’s pro day and at an NFL regional combine in Arizona, posting a 34-inch vertical jump, a 4.64-second 40-yard dash and 16 reps on the 225 lbs bench press. While he went undrafted, he impressed scouts with his athleticism and catching ability.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 2 in
(1.88 m)
219 lb
(99 kg)
4.64 s 1.64 s 2.75 s 4.54 s 7.19 s 34 in
(0.86 m)
10 ft 8 in
(3.25 m)
16 reps
All values from North Dakota State Pro Day.[6]

Edmonton Eskimos (CFL)[edit]

Following college, Zylstra moved to Arizona to train with former teammate Griffin Neal. While in Arizona, he attracted the interest of CFL teams during tryouts and was signed by the Edmonton Eskimos to a two-year contract.[7][8] In his first season in the league Zylstra made a quick impact, catching 34 passes for 508 yards with 3 touchdowns in only six regular season games. In two playoff games he caught six passes for 108 yards. He was named the Eskimos rookie of the year for the 2016 season.[9] Zylstra had an outstanding 2017 campaign, leading the CFL in receiving yards with 1,687 (225 ahead of second place S. J. Green). He played a big role in both of the Eskimos playoff games as well, catching 12 passes for 221 yards with one touchdown. He was named a CFL All-Star after the conclusion of the season.[10]

Minnesota Vikings (NFL)[edit]

On January 3, 2018, Zylstra signed a standard rookie, non-guaranteed three-year deal starting at a $480,000 salary for 2018 with the Minnesota Vikings.[11] He made the Vikings roster, playing in all 16 games primarily on special teams, and had one catch for 23 yards.

On August 31, 2019, Zylstra was waived by the Vikings.[12]

Carolina Panthers[edit]

On September 1, 2019, Zylstra was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers.[13]


  1. ^ "Could small-town receiver Brandon Zylstra be Vikings' next Adam Thielen?". April 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "Brandon Zylstra trying to make his own path to NFL".
  3. ^ "Brandon Zylstra, Concordia". February 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "Welcome To The Outdoor Season Brandon Zylstra". April 28, 2015.
  5. ^ "Zylstra stares down Concordia men's outdoor high jump record,..."
  6. ^ "Brandon Zylstra, Concordia-Moorehead". The Sports Xchange. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  7. ^ Reusse, Patrick (July 27, 2017). "A rising star in Canadian football, Minnesota receiver might not be done climbing ladder". Star Tribune. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  8. ^ Marquette, Justin (April 14, 2016). "Zylstra offered CFL contract, still pursing [sic] NFL dreams". The Concordian. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  9. ^ "Receiver Brandon Zylstra follows two seasons of Eskimos rookies of the year". Edmonton Sun. November 3, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  10. ^ "Five Edmonton Eskimos named CFL all-stars". Edmonton Sun. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  11. ^ "Vikings Sign Minnesota Native Brandon Zylstra To Futures Contract". January 3, 2018.
  12. ^ "Vikings Announce Roster Moves, Set Initial 53-Man Roster". August 31, 2019.
  13. ^ Henson, Max (September 1, 2019). "Panthers part with Torrey Smith, Elijah Holyfield, Kevon Seymour to make three waiver claims".