Ruggers In The NFL: Lawrence Okoye Update

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RWU HQ – Does the name Lawrence Okoye ring a bell? Because it should.LO2

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 collegebut 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.

LO1While the 49ers have been working Okoye out on the defensive line his first two seasons, Tomsula isn’t opposed to trying out the 23-year-old as a returner.

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.

Okoye is entering his third season in the league, and he might not get a better shot LO3than right now. This is Okoye’s moment and he better grab it before it passes him by.

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About DJ Eberle 198 Articles
DJ Eberle is easily the largest of the RWU Team; Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native played OT for Western New England University until he graduated in 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's moonlights on MeetTheMatts.com. His Dad played prop with Johnathan Wicklow Barberie and Matt McCarthy - who also in a MeetTheMatts.com moonlighter. DJ's cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. There is hope, though, that his genetic inclination for Rugby, will cure him of that! Follow him on Twitter: @DJEberle66