May 1, 2013, 1:37 PM EDT
He may have never played a down of American football – ever – but British discus champ Lawrence Okoye, who San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh has called an “adonis” and a “beautiful man,” has the work ethic to make a difference now that he’s signed a deal with the 49ers.
Because Okoye admits that he was pretty “terrible” at the discus when he started only three years ago. That was, of course, before breaking the British national record and landing in the event finals at his hometown London Games, finishing twelfth.
“I had to work really hard to become good at [discus]. It’s going to be the same path in this sport,” Okoye told the San Jose Mercury News.
“I’m not going to be as good as everybody else. I’m going to look out of place… But with some work and with time and effort, I know I can catch up and hopefully become a dominant player in the league.”
Okoye, who never even put on a set of pads before meeting with the Saints this spring, will work with defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who spent some time in NFL Europe and knows how to train up a novice in the sport. But despite his size and determination, and an impressive 4.78-seconds forty time at the combine, Okoye is humble about his role with a Niners team fresh off a Super Bowl appearance.
“I’m not going to say I’m going to kick Justin Smith or Ray McDonald out of their positions and I’m going to get 20 sacks next year. Of course not… It’s all about development. I’m going to develop every day.”
Aug 27, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT
IOC president sits down with Lewis Johnson at Youth Olympics.
Aug 27, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT
How can we apply the results looking ahead to the Rio Olympics?
Aug 27, 2014, 12:17 PM EDT
Diamond Races up for grabs, plus Gay vs. Powell in the 100m.
Aug 27, 2014, 10:39 AM EDT
Stevenson has unprecedented junior credentials for a U.S. boxer.
Aug 26, 2014, 6:01 PM EDT
Comoros, British Virgin Islands, Romania join together in track and field finale.
Aug 26, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
Olympic ice dancing silver medalist tries out non-Olympic sports.
Aug 26, 2014, 2:31 PM EDT
German, British, Dutch dressage teams win medals at World Equestrian Games.
Aug 26, 2014, 10:07 AM EDT
Americans complete dominating 13-game run.
Aug 25, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT
Le Clos won five medals at the 2010 Youth Olympics before shocking the most decorated Olympian ever in London.
Aug 25, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
Even his coach doubted him, but Jonathan Horton made good on a December vow.
Aug 25, 2014, 11:23 AM EDT
Mixed-gender, mixed-team relay will include athletes from all track and field events.
Aug 25, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT
Men prevailed in the 200m and 800m.
Aug 25, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT
Filipino gymnast was separated from Singapore shooter at age 3.
Aug 24, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT
“This was his toughest climb,” his coach said.
Aug 24, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT
Two-time Olympic medalist left off.
Aug 24, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT
Mo Farah breaks a European record; Allyson Felix fails to make 100m final.
Aug 24, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT
Bolt has his slowest season since 2007.
Aug 24, 2014, 8:27 AM EDT
Ledecky faster in 1500m free at 17 than Ryan Lochte was at 19 in 2004.
Aug 23, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT
The World all-around champion fell on balance beam and still won easily.
Aug 23, 2014, 11:58 PM EDT
Finals at 5 a.m. ET on Sunday.
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