The 2013 NFL draft is full of raw, foreign-born prospects that make up for whatever they lack in experience with unlimited upside. You can add one more of those players to that list, but this one lacks any prior football background.
Lawrence Okoye is a 6-foot-6, 294-pound Olympic discus thrower. The 21-year-old was in the United States to train for his natural sport when he saw there was an NFL regional combine in Atlanta. He impressed several teams and earned a second workout at the Super Regional Combine in Dallas on April 7, according to the Daily Mail. On Sunday, he confirmed via Twitter that he will pursue professional football full time.
Okoye is draft eligible, but he lacks any prior experience with the game. Players like Ezekiel Ansah from Ghana, Bjoern Werner from Germany and Margus Hunt from Estona have the same natural, raw talent, but at least played the game in college, if not high school as well. English-born Menelik Watson is a projected second-round prospect this year at offensive tackle and defensive end Jack Crawford was drafted in the fifth round by the Raiders last season. He came over from London in 2005.
Okoye said teams are interested in him at defensive end. At his size, defensive end, defensive tackle or offensive tackle would fit the track and field athlete best.
Before pursuing discus, Okoye was an upcoming rugby player in England. He had offers from Premiership clubs and deferred entry to study law at Oxford. Okoye finished a disappointing 12th in discus at the Olympics with a 61.03-meter throw, but holds the British world record of 68.24 meters.
There is no word whether Okoye is related to the “Nigerian Nightmare” Christian Okoye or Chicago Bears defensive tackle Amobi Okoye.
Photo via Facebook/Lawrence Okoye