Discus thrower Lawrence Okoye has already drawn interest from several teams.
London 2012 Olympian Lawrence Okoye has put his athletics career on hold as he pursues his ambition to play in the NFL.
Despite being touted as a future World and Olympic champion at the Discus, Okoye told the Daily Mail that he wanted to pursue his dream to play American Football.
“I came over to the States for warm-weather training for my discus,” Okoye said.
“But when I saw that there was an American Football Regional Combine taking place in Atlanta, I applied online. And when I passed, I went along.
“At the combine, I really stood out because of my size, strength and speed. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I was good on the day — to the point that a lot of NFL clubs began talking to me immediately on the back of it. They all see me as a defensive end, which suits me just fine.
“I’ve had some meetings since, and done some private workouts with some clubs, too, and already they are talking to me about contracts even before the Super Combine in Dallas next weekend. I’m talking about some of the best known and biggest teams.”
At 21 years of age, the former London Irish academy winger has plenty of years to return to the discus circuit should this attempt at an NFL career not work out.
Okoye would have good size and speed to play the defensive end position, and could be even more useful as a situational pass rusher in a 3-4 defensive scheme.
With minimal coaching and simple assignments during his time on the field, Okoye could use his physicality to an extent in which he could become a very good defender.
Due to having zero experience of playing the game at any level, it is highly unlikely NFL teams will spend a draft pick on him. There is a very good chance however that he will be picked up as an undrafted free agent, and signed to a low-money deal, and look to see how Okoye would develop in training camp.