EDMONTON, Alberta — Former Concordia Cobbers and current Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brandon Zylstra was back in Edmonton over the weekend to watch his former team the Edmonton Eskimos play in a Canadian Football League game against the BC Lions.
Zylstra spent two seasons with the Eskimos and that helped him earn a spot on the Vikings roster last season. BC Lions quarterback Mike Reilly played for the Eskimos when Zylstra played for Edmonton.
In 2017, Zylstra had 100 receptions for 1,687 yards and five touchdowns for Edmonton with Reilly as high quarterback. The Eskimos scored a 39-23 victory against the BC Lions on Friday, June 21, before 24,016 fans at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.
Zylstra said it took some adjusting seeing Reilly in a different uniform that the Eskimos in a television interview on TSN.
"It looks awkward. It really does," Zylstra told TSN. "It was so weird to have the announcer be so hyped up for Mike Reilly to go down so it's just not something I'm used to yet."
Zylstra played for the Eskimos for two seasons after his career at Concordia. In 2016, he finished with 34 catches for 508 yards and three touchdowns in six games for Edmonton and followed that with his breakout 2017 season.
"I have so many good friends up here that I follow along," Zylstra said in the TSN interview. "I'm even following more along this year just because I know so many guys out here and everybody is kind of everywhere now."
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Zylstra was primarily a special teams player for the Vikings during his rookie season. In 2018, he played in 16 games for Minnesota and had one catch for 23 yards. Zylstra, from Spicer, Minn., also had four punt return for 26 yards and one kickoff return for 15 yards.
"It was a dream come true," Zylstra said. "That's the team I watched growing up so it was just kind of cool to bring everything full circle and go back home."