The NFL has formally named 11 athletes to the following stage of the Worldwide Participant Pathway Program (IPP) within the US early subsequent yr.
The choice comes after the IPP Mix held in London last month which noticed over forty athletes from across the globe showcase their measurement and athleticism.
That in depth listing has now been whittled down to only 11 and options athletes from 5 totally different nations: Australia, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria and New Zealand. Of these 11 athletes, six had been concerned in Osi Umenyiora’s NFL Africa camp in Ghana or the Up Rise Academy working out of Lagos, Nigeria.
The selectees are anticipated to journey to the US in early Spring and attend a coaching facility in preparation for a pro-day simply earlier than the NFL Draft in 2023. LeCharles Bentley’s academy in Arizona, which was used final yr, is rumored to be the coaching facility once more this yr.
Following the draft, 4 of the 11 will every be assigned to a person crew inside a division and have three years of practice-squad eligibility that gained’t depend in opposition to the crew’s follow squad roster cap.
Two of the extra fascinating names on the listing are Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi and Kehinde Hassan Oginni who each attended the IPP Mix in London final yr. Each had been chosen to attend the ultimate stage of the IPP program however had been signed by NFL groups previous to its completion. Hassan, signed by the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, and Ndubuisi, signed by the Arizona Cardinals, had been each reduce previous to the common season.
Basil ‘CJ’ Okoye OL – Nigeria
Nicknamed ‘CJ’, Basil Okoye stands at an imposing 6 ’6″ and weighs 315 kilos. The 20-year-old was some of the extremely anticipated prospects at this yr’s mix and was recognised as the highest offensive participant of Osi Umenyiora’s NFL Africa camp in Ghana again in March
Jason ‘Chu’ Godrick OL – Nigeria
The Nigerian lineman turned heads as quickly as he walked into the stadium. Standing at 6’5″ and a lean 295 kilos, Jason passes the attention check regardless of having no actual aggressive soccer expertise. Like all of the Up Rise Academy males, the 21-year-old comes from a basketball background however was inspired to strive soccer by his trainers at Educational Basketball.
Kenneth Odumegwu DL – Nigeria
Kenneth got here in at 6 ‘5″ and 265 kilos with minimal physique fats and many muscle tissue. His unofficial 4.8 40-yard sprint, 33.5 inch vertical and spectacular command of his physique made him an intriguing prospect for scouts who undoubtedly noticed his excessive ceiling.
Patrick Murtagh WR/TE – Australia
A late addition to the London mix, the 6 ‘5″, 220 pound Murtagh has been an Aussie Guidelines participant final three years enjoying for the Gold Coast Suns. The 22-year-old slender athlete is a Gold Coast Suns Academy graduate and state decathlon champion bringing a powerful observe background to his recreation.
Talitiga Lachlan Amosa DL – Australia
The second Aussie on this listing was one in every of three gamers invited to London with NCAA expertise. The 6 ‘7, 270 pounder performed for New Mexico Army Institute (Junior School), East Los Angeles Neighborhood School (Junior School) and eventually Texas A&M Commerce (NCAA, DII). This previous summer season he was an influence participant for the Berlin Rebels within the German Soccer League making 28 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and two sacks.
Etuale Junior Vinny Lui DL – New Zealand
Vinny Lui is an athletic large physique who has performed rugby for a number of years. In 2019, Vinny Lui was named to New Zealand’s junior nationwide rugby crew which is a large accolade contemplating the dimensions of the game within the nation. He final suited up for the Parramatta Eels junior membership, one of many high rugby packages within the nation.
Haggai Chisom Ndubisi OL – Nigeria
The 6 ’9, 290-pound offensive lineman is one in every of three gamers back in the program taking one other crack at their NFL desires. The younger Nigerian was signed by the Arizona Cardinals again in April of this yr and was with the crew till being launched in mid-August.
Ndubisi first appeared on the scene in Abuja, Nigeria, at The Up Rise Academy after being invited by former NBA star Ejike Ugboaja. Ugboaja runs The Up Rise in tandem with Tremendous Bowl successful and two-time Professional Bowler Osi Umenyiora by way of his outreach program, the Ejike Foundation.
Ndubuisi instantly shone in Abuja, not solely on account of his sheer measurement and energy but additionally his fast toes and stunning athleticism for a giant man. The 21-year-old started his soccer profession in 2017 when he was seen by American coaches at a basketball all-star recreation in Lagos, Nigeria.
Kehinde Oginni Hassan DL – Nigeria
One other participant found by NFL Africa determine Osi Umenyiora is Kehinde Oginni Hassan who’s again within the NFL IPP program after spending final yr chasing his dream. Following his pro-day at Arizona State, Hassan was signed by Andy Reid and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. There, the 6 ’7 athlete made the difficult transition from tight finish to defensive finish. The younger Nigerian made one look within the preseason for the Chiefs however was launched earlier than the common season.
Unsurprisingly, Hassan comes from a basketball background and commenced his soccer journey in Abuja, Nigeria at an Ejike Foundation sports activities camp. Hassan, initially pondering he was too lanky to play soccer, was satisfied by the American coaches to pursue a profession within the recreation.
Marlon Werthmann OL – Germany
Werthmann is a product of one in every of Germany’s high youth packages within the Schwäbisch Corridor Unicorns. The 6 ‘4, 290-pound, 20-year-old is called a exercise warrior bench urgent over 400 kilos and deadlifting over 600 kilos. He was the beginning guard for the undefeated Unicorns within the German Soccer League this yr.
Hector Zepada OL – Mexico
Mexico’s Hector Zepada’s approach stood out in drills. He brings wonderful soccer expertise from his nation’s developed school soccer system. The 6 ‘4, 290-pound lineman spent final season coaching with the NFL IPP program however was not allotted to a crew.
Zepada has performed for one in every of Mexico’s high school packages in powerhouse Monterrey Tech. Within the Borregos program, he confirmed nice versatility beginning at guard and deal with for what many name ‘the Alabama’ of Mexico’s college football system. At one level, Zepada performed subsequent to present Dallas Cowboy Isaac Alarcon early in his school profession.