Okoye with the Bears in 2011
|No. 91, 96, 76|
|Born:||June 10, 1987|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||292 lb (132 kg)|
|High school:||Lee (Huntsville, Alabama)|
|NFL Draft:||2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career NFL statistics|
Okoye was born in Anambra State, Nigeria, a member of the Igbo ethnic group. He moved to Huntsville, Alabama in the United States when he was 12 years old. After only spending two weeks in middle school, he tested into the 9th grade. He first started playing football as a sophomore at Lee High School, knowing virtually nothing about the game before his high school coach suggested he go play Madden NFL football to learn. By the time he was a senior, he won first-team All-State honors as both a defensive lineman and offensive lineman. Because he shares the same surname as former Kansas City Chiefs fullback Christian Okoye, some sources have claimed that the two are related. Amobi says they are not related, but the two families live on adjoining land in Nigeria.
At Louisville, Okoye majored in biology. He later switched his major to psychology and graduated a semester early, thereby completing his degree in three and a half years. At 16, he became the youngest player in the NCAA. Okoye played in all 13 games as a true freshman at defensive tackle and was credited with 17 tackles and a sack. He recorded then-career-best three tackles against Tulane and recorded his first career sack against UTEP.
As a sophomore, Okoye appeared in 11 of 12 games, recording 26 tackles and a sack. Okoye's only missed game was against East Carolina, because of a shoulder injury. Okoye also made his first collegiate start against Army, recording a career-high seven tackles.
In his junior season of 2005, he recorded 23 tackles and four tackles for a loss. In the biggest game of the year, against the West Virginia Mountaineers, Okoye recorded four tackles. He missed the Florida Atlantic matchup due to a foot sprain. Against Kentucky, Okoye registered two tackles and a fumble recovery. Okoye also totaled three tackles against South Florida.
As a senior in 2006, Okoye finally started all 13 games. In those 13 games, he registered 55 tackles, eight sacks, and recovered three fumbles. Okoye garnered Associated Press Second-Team All-American honors and first-team All-Big East honors. As the NCAA's youngest senior at 19 years old, Okoye garnered first-round draft status during the season.
During the Senior Bowl, Okoye's stock rose dramatically with strong practice and game performances.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Bench press||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 2 in
|33 1⁄2 in
|4.85 s||1.65 s||2.87 s||4.44 s||7.46 s||30 in
|9 ft 3 in
|20-ss from Louisville Pro Day. All others from NFL Combine|
Okoye was drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft. He's still the youngest player to ever be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft at only 19 years 10 months 18 days old. Tremaine Edmunds became the second youngest at 19 years 11 months 26 days old, in 2018. The only two teenagers drafted. He was the highest draft pick to come out of the University of Louisville since the AFL-NFL merger.
Okoye signed a five-year deal with the Texans on July 26, which allowed him to begin training camp with his teammates the next day. With his first start, Okoye became the youngest player to appear in an NFL game since 1967.
Okoye was named Defensive Rookie of the Month for September 2007 after leading the AFC with four sacks. He is the youngest player ever to receive the award.
On July 30, 2011, after four seasons in Houston, he was released.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chicago Bears (second stint)
Okoye returned to the Bears on August 31, 2012, and signed a one-year contract on September 3. He was waived on November 27, but was brought back on December 12. During the 2012 Chicago Bears season, Okoye played in nine games, recording one sack, one forced fumble, and 12 combined tackles.
After having missed the 2013 NFL season due to what was referred to at the time as an "undisclosed medical issue", Okoye signed with the Dallas Cowboys on May 16, 2014. On August 14, 2014, more details were revealed regarding his medical situation. Okoye had been diagnosed in March 2013 with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and had been placed in a medically induced coma to stabilize recurring seizures. He was cleared by doctors to play again, and is the first football player to attempt to come back from the disease.
On April 8, 2015, Okoye was released by the Cowboys.
In July 2016, Okoye signed a contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL), and was placed on the team's suspended (inactive) list. His contract with the team expired in February 2017.
|Year||Team||GP||COMB||TOTAL||AST||SACK||FF||FR||FR YDS||INT||IR YDS||AVG IR||LNG||TD||PD|
- "Texans Sign Top Pick Okoye, Free Agent McCardell". Sports Network (via KFOXTV.com). July 27, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
- "Amobi Okoye". NFLDraftScout.com (via Sportsline.com). CBS. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
- Jenkins, Lee (October 15, 2007). "No More Kid Stuff". Time Inc. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
- "Huge for His Size". ESPN The Magazine. April 15, 2007. Archived from the original on September 19, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
- "Amobi Okoye may see action". Scout.com. August 27, 2003. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
- Manfull, Megan (April 28, 2007). "Texans select Louisville DT Amobi Okoye". Houston Chronicle.
- "NFL Draft History". Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2007.
- "Williams recovers fumble for TD, has two sacks in win - Game Notes". ESPN.com. September 9, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
- "Okoye named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month". HoustonTexans.com. August 30, 2012. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- "The Official Website of the Chicago Bearss". Chicagobears.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- "Source: Bucs, Amobi Okoye agree". Espn.go.com. April 7, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- Cummings, Roy (August 31, 2012). "Bucs release Okoye, others ahead of Friday roster deadline". The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- "Amobi Okoye to return to Bears - Chicago Sun-Times". Suntimes.com. August 31, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- Mayer, Larry. "Okoye thrilled to return to Bears". Chicagobears.com. Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- Mayer, Larry (November 27, 2012). "Bears add veteran Gurode to offensive line". Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on November 30, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
- "Report: Bears try out two quarterbacks". Yahoo! Sports. December 12, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
- Caplan, Adam (May 16, 2014). "Cowboys agree with Amobi Okoye". ESPN. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
- Archer, Todd. "Amobi Okoye of Dallas Cowboys intent on unprecedented return". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- Hanzus, Dan (April 8, 2015). "Dallas Cowboys release Amobi Okoye". NFL.com. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- Dunk, Justin (July 7, 2016). "Former top-10 NFL draft pick signs with Riders". 3 Down Nation. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
- "TRANSACTIONS – 2016". CFL.ca. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- "CFL TRANSACTIONS". CFL.ca. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
- "Amobi Okoye Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Okoye, Amobi (November 27, 2017). "145 Days". The Players' Tribune.
- "Walking Miracle". ESPN. November 27, 2017.
At 19, Amobi Okoye became youngest player drafted in NFL history as the Texans No. 10 pick in the 2007 draft. Now Okoye wants to become the first player to beat encephalitis.(podcast)
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