No Lawrence Okoye has never played competitive football. But that doesn’t mean he might not make it in the sport. I’m sure you remember last year’s rugby to football story, New York Jets tight end Hayden Smith. Smith made the team’s roster and is currently vying for a tight end spot on the lackluster Jets squad. Okoye could very well do the same on his new team, the San Francisco 49ers.
After impressing scouts at a regional combine in Texas a couple months ago, Okoye earned himself a spot on the 49ers roster as an undrafted free agent defensive end. At 6’6″ 300 lb., Okoye ran an impressive 4.78 sec. 40-yard dash matching with remarkable vertical and broad jumps earning himself a chance to catch his dreams.
After participating in the London Olympics this past summer for England in discus Okoye started a new career path pursuing football. When Okoye started throwing a discus at the age 18 he said he wasn’t very good, which gives him the confidence that he can soon become a dominant player in the NFL.
“I had to work really hard to become good at it. It’s going to be the same path in this sport,” Okoye told the San Jose Mercury News. “When I start out, I’m not going to be as good as everybody else. I’m going to look out of place, that’s for sure. But with some work and with time and effort, I know I can catch up and hopefully become a dominant player in the league.”
Okoye also believes that his successful background in rugby, a sport similar to football. Okoye was a star for the London Irish and Wasps Academy as a teenager and when he had the choice between his “first love” rugby or a new dream football, he chose the gridiron.
I give Lawrence Okoye the best of luck in catching his NFL dream and I hope you do it!