We have featured the former rugger turned NFL defensive lineman a number of times here at Rugby Wrap Up, most recently in August 2013. And Okoye’s name has come up in NFL circles the past couple of weeks.
Not only did CheatSheet.com name the former rugger one of the five best NFL players who didn’t go to college, but according to the The Daily Mail first-year San Fancisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula is expecting to see more out of Okoye this season.
“He’s a guy used to being downfield catching a ball with people running at him,” Tomsula said. “He’s used to making tackles in open spaces. You’ve got a guy used to carrying the ball, catching the ball and avoiding. Obviously, with the explosive qualities that he has, you can’t help but be excited.”
Considering the loss of Ray McDonald to free agency and a possible retirement for Justin Smith, there isn’t a better time for Okoye to make his splash than now. The 49ers only have three defensive tackles on their roster at the moment, not including the former rugger, leaving a big hole in the depth chart.
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