marknhj wrote:Doesn't it help to have actually played the game before?
Usually, but there are a few really talented guys who have been succesful playing football without much experience. I don't think Jimmy Graham, NO Saints TE, played more than one year of college before going pro and I'm not sure if he had any high school football experience. (but he was American so the nuances of the game, even if unfamiliar, weren't completely foreign). A few other tight ends have had very little experience (Gates). But since we're talking about Okoye, there is another athlete who was an Okoye trailblazer.
Okoye was born in Enugu, Nigeria and did not play American football until 1984, when he joined the squad at California's Azusa Pacific University. He excelled in track & field, winning seven college titles in the shotput, discus, and hammer throw. The first time he attended an American football game he thought the game was boring. After the Nigerian government failed to select Okoye for the Olympics, he sought something else to do besides track & field and went out for American football. Initially, Okoye did not enjoy the roughness of football and thought about quitting but friends convinced him to continue playing. His track speed (40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds and about 10.50 seconds in the 100 meters) was unusual for someone his size (6'1" and 260 lb), and this rare combination of talents led to his selection in the second round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Last edited by batonless relay on Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
Not that I've ever played/coached the position, but I'm guessing somebody with monster size/strength/speed can relatively quickly be made into a situational pass rusher of quality. So long as they like pain, that is.
rainy.here wrote:They referenced good Combine scores, which I couldn't find with a couple minutes searching. Anyone find/see them?
He did not attend the NFL Combine. The NFL holds regional combines, and he said that he attended one of those.
I know - otherwise it would have been easy to find.
He's supposed to be participating in the NFL Super Regional Combine this weekend (April 6-7) in Dallas. The Super Regional is by invitation only, and includes athletes who were standouts in the various Regional Combines... NFL.COM and NFL Network are both covering the Super Regional Combine, so maybe more information will be available regarding Okoye's Combine performance in Dallas.
Edit- If you want to see how his marks compare to the defensive ends who were invited to the official NFL Scouting Combine, click the link below, and then click on the position (POS) column header. Results of the athletes who were invited to the official NFL Combine this year will then be grouped by position. Then scroll down to the defensive ends group (DE).
the big vertical for somebody his height/weight isn't at all ridiculous. Back in the day I trained with no end of throwers who had serious hops. Amazing what a lot of heavy squats do for you in that department.
There was a memorable incident in a hotel in Europe in the early '70s when some touring athletes were wondering about standing under something or other and wondering if anybody could touch it. Rey Brown, who was 6-4 and one of the best high jumpers in the world, couldn't do it. Putter Al Feuerbach, who was 6-1 and somewhere in the 250-275 range at the time, had no trouble.
Obviously he lacks knowledge of the game, but comparing Okoye's drills marks in the regional combine to the marks of the 21 defensive ends who were invited to, and performed at, the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, his ranking in each event out of the 22 defensive ends would have been:
40 yards - Tied for 8th Vertical jump - Tied for 3rd Broad Jump - 3rd Short Shuttle - 8th (using the average of his right and left shuttle times)
(Assuming that I calculated correctly)
It'll be interesting to see how many bench press reps (225 lbs) he'll be able to do...
Lawrence Okoye, DE (6-foot-5 3/8, 304 pounds) — An Olympic discus thrower, Okoye reportedly turned down an offer to attend Oxford University to try out for the NFL. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.88 and 4.78 seconds. He performed the short shuttle in 4.38 seconds, had a 10-foot-5 broad jump and a 35-inch vertical jump. His arms were measured to be 35 inches long.
It looked like from the group that worked out Sunday, about half will be given the opportunity to sign with a team as a free agent and attend training camp. Okoye looked like he could be drafted. He was unbelievably active and incredibly explosive in drills. It was a real, first-class show.
leoesharkey wrote:Discus throwers do a lot of heavy benchpressing, he is prob in the 225-230kg 1RM level so what might that be at 102.5kg for reps?
I would be very surprised if a guy who can bench 500+ lbs couldn't do a minimum of 28 reps but I think Okoye is more likely to achieve 35 or more. (Tommy Bohinnon, a RB from Wake Forest 6'1", 246, 35" VJ, 119" BJ...repped 36 times in 2013.) For Okoye's sake, let's hope that he is above 35 and below 42. Why? Because of all of the men who have benched 42 reps or more, none have been anything more than bench players - and that's if they made the team.
gh wrote:Not that I've ever played/coached the position, but I'm guessing somebody with monster size/strength/speed can relatively quickly be made into a situational pass rusher of quality. So long as they like pain, that is.
In particular, pain that is likely to increase over a lifetime, ending in an early demise.