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: