Former NFL player Osi Umenyiora, born in London to Nigerian parents, has made attracting more international players to the league one of his top priorities. And this year he has found significant success.
The NFL announced today that eight players have been given roster spots for the 2023 season via the league’s International Pathway Program, and six of them are from Nigeria and were discovered via Umenyiora’s The Uprise initiative, which hosted the first NFL Africa talent camp last year.
“To see these fantastic young Nigerian men achieve their dream to be on an NFL roster is incredibly exciting, and I am proud of how each one of them have worked incredibly hard to earn this moment,” Umenyiora said in a statement. “I cannot wait to see how they develop next season and in the years to come, and know that everyone in Nigeria will be following their progress with pride.”
The six Nigerian players who will get NFL roster spots this year are defensive lineman Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi (Broncos), offensive lineman Chukwuebuka Godrick (Chiefs), defensive lineman David Ebuka Agoha (Raiders), defensive lineman Basil Chijioke Okoye (Chargers), offensive lineman Roy Mbaeteka (Bears) and defensive lineman Kenneth Odumegwu (Packers).
The NFL’s International Pathway Program will also give roster spots to Australian tight end Patrick Murtagh (Lions) and French defensive lineman Junior Aho (Vikings).
The eight international players will be on their teams’ rosters through training camp, without counting toward the 90-player roster limit. It’s possible for them to earn a 53-player roster spot for the regular season, although it’s more likely they’ll land on the practice squad, where they also won’t count toward the practice squad limit.
Osi Umenyiora’s initiative lands six Nigerian players on NFL rosters originally appeared on Pro Football Talk