Apr 29, 2013, 8:45 AM EDT
British discus thrower and London Olympian Lawrence Okoye announced on Twitter that he’ll sign with the San Francisco 49ers after no team picked him during this weekend’s NFL Draft.
The 21-year-old has never played a down of American football in his life, but at 6’6″ 304 pounds with a 35-inch vertical and a 4.78 40-yard-dash time, it’s kind of a surprise that more teams weren’t interested purely because of his stature.
“I really stood out because of my size, strength, and speed,” Okoye told The Daily Mail after competing at a regional combine in Atlanta. “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I was good [at the combine] – to the point that a lot of NFL clubs began talking to me.”
Okoye, who was a star junior rugby athlete while growing up, will likely end up as a defensive lineman under 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and line coach Jim Tomsula.
Okoye was planning on holding off his NFL dreams until after the 2016 Rio Games, but after his combine performance, and after talking with San Francisco and working out for the Chicago Bears, he couldn’t pass up the chance: “I want to give this my best shot. It’s a rare life opportunity.”
Check out Okoye at the Super Regional Combine in Dallas:
- Aksel Lund Svindal injured playing soccer, likely out most of season 0
- Justin Gatlin not among IAAF Athlete of the Year award finalists 0
- Noelle Pikus-Pace: I already miss skeleton, but happily retired 0
- Simone Biles still buzzing after World Championships whirlwind 0
- Gracie Gold calls audible, adds lyrics for post-Olympic season 0
- Meryl Davis, Charlie White look to uncertain future in ice dancing 0
- U.S. women’s volleyball wins breakthrough World Championship (video) 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)