May 20, 2013, 1:09 PM EDT
The “early word” on British discus hurler turned NFL defensive end Lawrence Okoye is good according to ESPN analyst Michael Clayton, who recently noted how Okoye impressed onlookers at San Francisco’s rookie camp last week.
“Okoye might have enough pure talent for the 49ers to consider him for the active roster,” Clayton wrote in a mailbag. “There is such a good buzz about him that another team might claim him off waivers if the 49ers try to get him to the practice squad. Okoye is a great story so far.”
Okoye, who finished twelfth in London last summer, had never played a down of American football before signing as a rookie free agent following April’s NFL Draft. But 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has called Okoye an “adonis” and a “beautiful man” who has the work ethic to make a difference.
Okoye stands 6’6″, 304 pounds and boasts a 35-inch vertical and 4.78-seconds forty-yard-dash time. He’ll continue to work with San Francisco defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who has experience with football novices due to nearly a decade spent overseas with NFL Europe.
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