10 American Football stars of Nigerian-descent who got drafted at the 2020 NFL Draft [ARTICLE]

In drugs, sports activities, there may be all the time a ‘final title that rings a bell to Nigerians.

On the 2020 NFL Draft that was held nearly through videoconferencing from April Tuesday, 23 to Saturday, 25, 2020.

We take a look at 10 gamers of Nigerian descent who had been drafted this 12 months.

1. Jeff Okudah ( No. Three choose Detroit Lions)

Jeff Okudah (Instagram/Jeff Okudah)

Jeff Okudah (Instagram/Jeff Okudah)


Because the No. Three draft choose, Jeff Okudah is the best of the bunch. Okudah was born to Nigerian mother and father who migrated to the US of America in 1990 though not a lot is seen about his father within the media.

It’s his mom, Marie that Okudah typically talks about. Marie died of lymphoma in 2017 simply days after Okudah left for Ohio State to play faculty American Soccer the place he established himself as the perfect cornerback in his draft class.

Okudah began taking part in soccer at South Grand Prairie Excessive Faculty the place he first began making waves. His mum Maria although, was not a fan of the sports activities as she thought of it too violent.

Though she was a fan of soccer, all the time watching the Tremendous Eagles of Nigeria, she, nonetheless, suppported her son’s profession.

Okudah all the time talks about his mum, and wrote an emotional letter to her in a submit on The Players’ Tribune the place he additionally introduced that he was getting into the draft choose.

The 20-year-old was drafted by the Detroit Lions on the choose.

Okudah has by no means been on report speaking about Nigeria so it’s not recognized how a lot he identifies along with his Nigerian roots.

He was nonetheless raised in Nigerian properties. After his mum died, his aunt Jane Obodo and her husband Patrick turned his guardian.

2. Noah Igbinoghene (30th choose by Miami Dolphins)

Noah Igbinoghene (Instagram/Noah Igbinoghene)

Noah Igbinoghene (Instagram/Noah Igbinoghene)


A cornerback, Igbinoghene was drafted 30th total by the Miami Dolphins within the first spherical of the draft.

Born in Trussville, Alabama, Igbinoghene was raised by Nigerian mother and father who represented Nigeria as athletes.

His father Festus was a Nigerian athlete that gained a bronze medal for his nation on the 1990 Commonwealth Video games and in addition competed within the males’s triple leap on the 1996 Summer time Olympics.

The mom Religion Igbinoghene was an Olympic athlete in monitor and discipline and was a part of the relay group that gained a Bronze medal on the 1992 Olympic Video games.

Each Festus and Religion additionally competed for faculties in the US and each had been beside Igbinoghene on draft night time.

3. Josh Uche (60th choose by the New England Patriots)

Josh Uche (Instagram/Josh Uche)

Josh Uche (Instagram/Josh Uche)


Born to Nigerian mother and father in Miami, Uche was drafted because the 60th choose by the New England Patriots on the second-round choose.

The linebacker performed his faculty soccer at Michigan State from the place he was drafted.

Each of Uche’s mother and father immigrated from Nigeria; his dad Emmanuel is an engineer and architect.

In an interview with NFL.com forward of the draft, Uche mentioned his family was extra dedicated to soccer and basketball than soccer.

4. Julian Okwara (67th choose by Detroit Lions)

Julian Okwara (Instagram/Julian Okwara)

Julian Okwara (Instagram/Julian Okwara)


Detroit on the draft day chosen two gamers of Nigerian descent. The second was Julian Okwara who was chosen within the third spherical because the 67th choose.

At Detroit, Okwara may even be becoming a member of his elder brother Romeo Okwara. A video of each brothers hugging when Julian was chosen on the digital draft night time warmed the hearts of many.

We about to be roommates,” Julian says, “you about able to pay my hire boy,” Romero replies.

Described as a gifted pass-rusher, Okwara was born in London however grew up within the Lekki space of Lagos. He moved to North Carolina when he was eight.

Rising up in Lagos, Okwara and his brother Romeo performed soccer and basketball however picked up soccer after they moved to North Carolina.

Okwara identical to his brother Romeo attended Ardrey Kell Excessive Faculty in North Carolina and performed faculty basketball in Notre Dame. though they by no means performed collectively.

I really keep in mind Nigeria rather a lot and truly went again for the primary time in 12 years this final summer time,” Okwara instructed NBC Sports activities.

So final 12 months I went again house and hung out with my daddy and see some pals and households.

“I hung out with them, simply went again to the place I used to be from, my roots. It was positively good and an ideal expertise for me to obtained again, particularly having been gone for 12 years.

“To spend time with my household to see issues I haven’t seen in awhile, individuals who rooted for me and obtained me into the place I’m.”

5. Michael Ojemudia (77th choose by Denver Broncos)

Michael Ojemudia (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Michael Ojemudia (AP Photograph/Michael Conroy)


A cornerback, Michael Ojumudia was chosen from Iowa because the 77th-overall choose by the Denver Broncos within the third spherical.

Ojumedia was born in the US of America to Dennis and Bose who emigrated from Nigeria in 1980.

Dennis used to work as an engineer for Ford Motor Firm whereas his mum Bose is a well being care employee. Dennis and Bose each based DenBos Dwelling Well being Care within the Detroit suburbs.

Ojemudia shares his dad’s ardour for automobiles and deliberate to work in vehicles if his soccer profession didn’t work out.

6. Albert Okwuegbunam (118th choose by Denver Broncos)

Albert Okwuegbunam (Instagram/Albert Okwuegbunam)

Albert Okwuegbunam (Instagram/Albert Okwuegbunam)


Okwuegbunam was chosen by the Denver Broncos within the fourth spherical with the 118th total choose within the draft from the College of Missouri.

Okwuegbunam was born in Illinois to Albert Sr. who immigrated to the US from Nigeria when he was 19. His mum is caucasian.

His dad got here to the US for his college training and performed soccer at Lincoln Land Group School.

His father is a large supporter of Okwuegbunam and used to observe his each sport at Missouri. He stays a determine within the lifetime of the tight finish.

7. Hakeem Adeniji (180th choose by Cincinnati Bengals)

Hakeem Adeniji (Instagram/Hakeem Adeniji)

Hakeem Adeniji (Instagram/Hakeem Adeniji)


Hakeem Adeniji performed faculty soccer on the College of Kansas earlier than he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals because the 180th total choice within the sixth spherical of the draft.

Born in Texas, not a lot is understood about Adeniji’s household though it’s recorded that his mom Semia was a TV presenter in Nigeria earlier than the household moved to Dallas.

Adeniji additionally idenitifies along with his Nigerian root and has the Nigerian flag on his Twitter profile.

8. Michael Onwenu (182nd choose by New England Patriots)

Michael Onwenu (Instagram/Michael Onwenu)

Michael Onwenu (Instagram/Michael Onwenu)


After his faculty profession at Michigan State, Michael Onwenu was chosen by New England Patriots.

Born in Detroit, Onwenu has Nigerian mother and father Stephen and Roseline who had been each born in Nigeria and later moved to the US of America.

The 22-year-old Guard identifies along with his Nigerian roots and has the Nigerian flag on his social media profiles.

 Michael Onwenu and his family (Instagram)

Michael Onwenu and his household (Instagram)


He has additionally hung out in Nigeria alongside along with his mother and father.

We went again to Nigeria about 3 times for a month at a time,” Onwenu as soon as mentioned in an interview.

9. Prince Tega Wanogho ( 210th choose by total choose by Philadelphia Eagles)

One of the crucial riveting ‘from nothing-to-something’ tales from this 12 months’s NFL draft, Prince Tega Wangogo’s journey from Warri to the NFL is the dream the typical Nigerian can join with.

Born in Warri, Wanogho is the seventh of 9 kids from the Nigerian metropolis of Warri. His grandfather was a king in Orogun, therefore the title Prince.

It was the sport of basketball that he fell in love with and he wasn’t dangerous at it.

Prince Tega Wanogho (Insatgram/Prince Tega Wanogho)

Prince Tega Wanogho (Insatgram/Prince Tega Wanogho)


He had sufficient expertise to attract the eye of scouts who provided him a scholarship to review on the Edgewood Academy in Elmore, Alabama in 2014.

It was in Excessive Faculty he learnt the way to play soccer, a sport he knew so little of and only a 12 months later, he obtained into Auburn College.

A number of years later, he made the NFL Draft and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles within the sixth spherical with the 210th total choose.

Wanogho is a frequent customer to Warri however he hasn’t visited once more since his mom Princess Onome Wanogho died unexpectedly in February 2017. His dad had died earlier when he was 10.

He, nonetheless, has not forgotten house and hopes to in the future return to Warri and sponsor camps just like the one which despatched him to the US of America.

10. Justin Madubuike (71st choose by Baltimore Ravens)

Justin Madubuike (Instagram/Justin Madubuike)

Justin Madubuike (Instagram/Justin Madubuike)


Born in Texas to Nigerian mother and father, Justin Madubuike was chosen by the Baltimore Ravens with the 71st choose within the draft.

The defensive finish performed faculty soccer at Texas A&M College earlier than he was drafted.

Madubuike identifies as a Nigerian though he’s an American. He’s the second oldest of 4 kids.

Household is every little thing in Nigerian tradition,” Madubuike instructed the Fort Value Star-Telegram whereas speaking about having his household collectively for the digital draft night time.

Justin Madubuike (Dallas News)

Justin Madubuike (Dallas Information)


We’re very proud and really loving and really decided individuals who have sure expectations for our siblings and youngsters. We’ve a sure respect and ethical code, so being Nigerian is certainly a prideful factor.

Madubuike additionally credit his mother and father, Nigerian immigrants Festus and Maureen for his successes to date.

They instructed me exhausting work brings good issues to your loved ones,” Madubuike instructed Dallas Information.

It makes you keep pushed, goal-oriented to maintain working exhausting, to not accept much less. And to have a purpose, have a dream, have a imaginative and prescient and go after it and never let anybody cease you.”

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