Minnesota DL Boye Mafe’s NFL career is set to begin after 4 seasons with the Golden Gophers. Mafe capped his career by helping PJ Fleck’s squad go 9-4 with a bowl game win.

As a 5th-year senior, Mafe started 9 of 13 games, making 34 tackles (26 solo) and forcing a fumble. He led the team in tackles for loss (10) and sacks (7). The strong season earned Mafe All-Big Ten Second Team recognition from the media and All-B1G Third Team honors from the conference coaches.

It is becoming more and more common for NFL Draft prospects to skip their team’s bowl game to avoid risking injury, but Mafe remained with the Golden Gophers for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. Having played in 2020, Mafe had the option to return in 2022 as a 6th-year senior with the NCAA’s COVID-19 waiver, but he announced the day before the bowl game that he would be declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft. He helped Minnesota secure an 18-6 victory over West Virginia, recording 4 tackles, including a sack, in his final game.

After Minnesota’s bowl game, Mafe participated in the 2022 Senior Bowl, where he met with NFL teams and practiced with league coaches. Mafe was the National Team Player of the Game in the Mobile, Alabama all-star game.

Highlights from his final season with the Gophers can be viewed below: