Amobi Okoye

Amobi Okoye (born June 10, 1987) is a former Nigerian player of American football. He was drafted by the Houston Texans tenth overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at Louisville.

Amobi Okoye
refer to caption
Okoye with the Bears in 2011
No. 91, 96, 76
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born:June 10, 1987 (age 31)
Anambra, Nigeria
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:292 lb (132 kg)
Career information
High school:Lee (Huntsville, Alabama)
NFL Draft:2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 10
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
CFL status:International
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:177
Forced fumbles:3
Fumble recoveries:2
Player stats at

Early life

Okoye was born in Anambra State, Nigeria,[1][2] a member of the Igbo ethnic group.[3] He moved to Huntsville, Alabama in the United States when he was 12 years old.[4] After only spending two weeks in middle school, he tested into the 9th grade.[4] 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.[4] 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.[5]

College career

At age 15 Okoye chose the University of Louisville over Harvard,[6] citing a desire to play for a strong football program.

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.

Professional career

Amobi Okoye - Houston Texans
Okoye doing drills in 2010
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 2 in
(1.88 m)
302 lb
(137 kg)
33 12 in
(0.85 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.85 s 1.65 s 2.87 s 4.44 s 7.46 s 30 in
(0.76 m)
9 ft 3 in
(2.82 m)
29 reps X
20-ss from Louisville Pro Day. All others from NFL Combine

Houston Texans

Okoye in 2007 while with the Texans

Okoye was drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft. He is the youngest player to ever be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft at only 19 years old. He was the highest draft pick to come out of the University of Louisville since the AFL-NFL merger.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

On July 30, 2011, after four seasons in Houston, he was released.

Chicago Bears

Okoye signed with the Chicago Bears on July 30, 2011.[10] During the 2011 Chicago Bears season, Okoye played 16 games with one start, recording four sacks and 27 combined tackles.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Okoye signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on April 7, 2012.[11] He was released by the team on August 31, before the start of the 2012 NFL season.[12]

Chicago Bears (second stint)

Okoye returned to the Bears on August 31, 2012,[13] and signed a one-year contract on September 3.[14] He was waived on November 27,[15] but was brought back on December 12.[16] During the 2012 Chicago Bears season, Okoye played in nine games, recording one sack, one forced fumble, and 12 combined tackles.

Dallas Cowboys

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.[17] 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.[18]

On April 8, 2015, Okoye was released by the Cowboys.[19]

Saskatchewan Roughriders

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.[20][21] His contract with the team expired in February 2017.[22]

NFL statistics

2007 HOU 16 32 23 9 5.5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 HOU 14 24 15 9 1.0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2009 HOU 16 38 26 12 1.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
2010 HOU 16 44 27 17 3.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 CHI 16 27 18 9 4.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2012 CHI 9 12 9 3 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 87 177 118 59 16.0 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 6



  1. ^ "Texans Sign Top Pick Okoye, Free Agent McCardell". Sports Network (via July 27, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  2. ^ "Amobi Okoye". (via CBS. Retrieved January 14, 2008.
  3. ^ Jenkins, Lee (October 15, 2007). "No More Kid Stuff". Time Inc. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c "Huge for His Size". ESPN The Magazine. April 15, 2007. Archived from the original on September 19, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2007.
  5. ^ "Amobi Okoye may see action". August 27, 2003. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  6. ^ Manfull, Megan (April 28, 2007). "Texans select Louisville DT Amobi Okoye". Houston Chronicle.
  7. ^ "NFL Draft History". Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2007.
  8. ^ "Williams recovers fumble for TD, has two sacks in win - Game Notes". September 9, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2007.
  9. ^ "Okoye named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month". August 30, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  10. ^ "The Official Website of the Chicago Bearss". Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  11. ^ "Source: Bucs, Amobi Okoye agree". April 7, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  12. ^ Cummings, Roy (August 31, 2012). "Bucs release Okoye, others ahead of Friday roster deadline". The Tampa Tribune. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  13. ^ "Amobi Okoye to return to Bears - Chicago Sun-Times". August 31, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  14. ^ Mayer, Larry. "Okoye thrilled to return to Bears". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "Report: Bears try out two quarterbacks". Yahoo! Sports. December 12, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012.
  17. ^ Caplan, Adam (May 16, 2014). "Cowboys agree with Amobi Okoye". ESPN. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  18. ^ Archer, Todd. "Amobi Okoye of Dallas Cowboys intent on unprecedented return". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  19. ^ Hanzus, Dan (April 8, 2015). "Dallas Cowboys release Amobi Okoye". Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  20. ^ Dunk, Justin (July 7, 2016). "Former top-10 NFL draft pick signs with Riders". 3 Down Nation. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  21. ^ "TRANSACTIONS – 2016". Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  22. ^ "CFL TRANSACTIONS". Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  23. ^ "Amobi Okoye Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved June 13, 2015.

Further reading

  • 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)

External links

2006 Louisville Cardinals football team

The 2006 Louisville Cardinals football team represented the University of Louisville in the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team, led by Bobby Petrino in his fourth year at the school, played their home games in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Playing in their second year in the Big East Conference, the team finished the regular season with eleven wins and one loss and were conference champions. They represented the Big East in the 2007 Orange Bowl and with the win ended the season with a 12-1 record. The team ended the season ranked fifth in the nation.

2007 Houston Texans season

The 2007 Houston Texans season was the franchise's 6th season in the National Football League and the 2nd under head coach Gary Kubiak.

This season began with the team trying to improve on their 6–10 record in 2006. This season marks the sixth year of existence for the Texans franchise as well as Reliant Stadium.

2010 Houston Texans season

The 2010 Houston Texans season was the franchise's 9th season in the National Football League and the 5th under head coach Gary Kubiak. The Texans claimed their first winning season in franchise history, with a 9–7 record in 2009, but narrowly missed the playoffs. The Texans selected Kareem Jackson CB from Alabama, with the 20th overall all pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. In 2010, the team started the season on a 4–2 record going into a Week 7 bye week, but promptly collapsed 2–8 in the second part of the season, finishing 6–10.

The Texans gave up 427 points to opponents (26.2 points per game), second-most in the AFC and fourth-most in the entire league. Football statistics site Football Outsiders states that the Texans' defense had allowed the highest percentage of plays with broken tackles in the league, allowing a broken tackle on 8.1% of defensive plays. FO also calculated that Houston had the #2 offense in the league per play (adjusted for strength of opponent), but the second-worst defense (also adjusted). In their final eight losses, the Texans allowed an average of just under 30.4 points per game.

Undrafted second year running back Arian Foster led the NFL in rushing in 2010 with 1,616 yards. Foster had rushed for 257 yards in six games the season before.

2012 Chicago Bears season

The 2012 Chicago Bears season was the franchise's 93rd season in the National Football League, as well as the ninth under head coach Lovie Smith. The team played at Soldier Field for the tenth season since its reconstruction in 2001.

The Bears entered the 2012 season looking to improve on their 8–8 record in 2011. They acquired wide receiver Brandon Marshall from the Miami Dolphins, who had played with Bears Quarterback, Jay Cutler with the Denver Broncos from 2006–2008. The Bears were expected to be a wild card team by ten ESPN experts, and four analysts predicted that the team would finish second in the NFC North. By the season's midpoint, the Bears had proven to be among the league's elite teams, having a record of 7–1 in their first 8 games, something they had not accomplished since their 2006 Super Bowl season, along with a scoring differential of +120, which led the league. The team trailed the San Francisco 49ers in scoring defense with 15 points per game allowed, and third in scoring offense with 29.5, trailing the New England Patriots and Houston Texans. The defense also recorded six interceptions returned for touchdowns in the first seven games of the season, an NFL record; the Bears then recorded two more in the season, one shy of the record set by the 1961 San Diego Chargers. However, during the second half of the season, the Bears went 3–5, and after scoring 19 touchdowns in the first eight games, the Bears scored ten fewer in the second half of the season. Despite defeating the Detroit Lions in the season finale to have a record of 10–6, the Minnesota Vikings, who had a better division record than Chicago, defeated the Green Bay Packers 37–34, ending the Bears season. As a result, the Bears became the first team since the 1996 Washington Redskins to start the season 7–1 and miss the playoffs. On December 31, Smith was fired, and was replaced by Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman.The Bears finished the season by leading the NFL in takeaways with 44, sixth in third-down efficiency (35.5 percent) and eighth in sacks with 41, while ranking third in the league in fewest points allowed with 277; Chicago was the lone team in the top five in that category to not qualify for the playoffs. The Bears also had a +20 turnover margin, second behind the New England Patriots; the Bears and New York Giants were the only teams in the top eleven of the category to not make the playoffs.This would be the last winning season for the Bears until 2018.

2012 Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards

The 2012 Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards was the maiden edition of the ceremony to reward excellence in African cinema. It was hosted by Jim Iyke.

2014 Dallas Cowboys season

The 2014 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 55th season in the National Football League, the sixth playing their home games at AT&T Stadium and the fourth full season under head coach Jason Garrett.

Devin Holland

Devin Holland (born October 18, 1988) is an American football safety who is currently a free agent. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He played college football for McNeese State University and Tulane University prior.

Eme Ikwuakor

Eme Ikwuakor ( IK-waw-kər; born August 13, 1984) is a Nigerian-American actor. He is best known for his roles in Ink (2009), Extant (2014), and Gorgon in Inhumans (2017).

Houston Texans draft history

The following list contains all NFL Draft selections made by the National Football League's Houston Texans franchise since the team's inception into the league in 2002. Included in the list is the 2002 NFL Expansion Draft.

Justin Harrell

Justin Tyrell Harrell (born February 14, 1984) is a former American football player. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers 16th overall in the 2007 NFL Draft and would be a part of their Super Bowl XLV championship against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played college football at Tennessee.

Lee High School (Huntsville, Alabama)

Lee High School is a four-year public high school that serves students in grades 9–12 from Huntsville, in Madison County, Alabama in the United States, as a part of Huntsville City Schools.

List of Houston Texans first-round draft picks

The Houston Texans joined the National Football League (NFL) in 2002. The Texans' first selection as an NFL team was David Carr, a quarterback from Fresno State. The team's most recent first-round selection was Tytus Howard, an offensive tackle from Alabama State.

Every year during April, each NFL franchise seeks to add new players to its roster through a collegiate draft known as the "NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting," which is more commonly known as the NFL Draft. Teams are ranked in inverse order based on the previous season's record, with the worst record picking first, and the second worst picking second and so on. The two exceptions to this order are made for teams that appeared in the previous Super Bowl; the Super Bowl champion always picks 32nd, and the Super Bowl loser always picks 31st. Teams have the option of trading away their picks to other teams for different picks, players, cash, or a combination thereof. Thus, it is not uncommon for a team's actual draft pick to differ from their assigned draft pick, or for a team to have extra or no draft picks in any round due to these trades.

The Texans have selected number one overall thrice, David Carr in 2002, Mario Williams in 2006, and Jadeveon Clowney in 2014. The team never selected number two overall and number three overall once, Andre Johnson. No player selected by the Texans has been inaugurated into the NFL Hall Of Fame. The Houston Texans have only once drafted two or more times in the first round, which occurred in 2004.

List of Louisville Cardinals in the NFL Draft

This is a list of Louisville Cardinals football players in the NFL Draft.

List of Nigerian Americans

This is a list of notable Nigerian Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American-born descendants.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Nigerian American and must have references showing they are Nigerian American and are notable.

List of Nigerian sportspeople

List of Nigerian sportspeople includes notable sportsman of the country.

Montavious Stanley

Montavious Stanley (born October 10, 1981) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. He played college football at the University of Louisville.


Okoye is a family name (surname) originating in Nigeria. It is an Anambra dialect derived from the central Igbo name Okorie (meaning someone born on orie market day, or Oye market day as known in Anambra State).

Notable people with the name Okoye include:

Amobi Okoye, Nigerian-American National Football League defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears

Christian Okoye, Nigerian-American former National Football League running back for the Kansas City Chiefs

Ebele Okoye, Nigerian painter

Kelechi Okoye, Nigerian professional football player

Lawrence Okoye, British record holder in men's discus and National Football League defensive end for the Miami Dolphins

Oge Okoye, Nigerian actress

Sam Okoye, Nigerian former professional football player

Samuel Okoye, Nigerian astrophysicist

Stan Okoye, Nigerian-American basketball player

Ugo Okoye, Nigerian former professional football player

Peter & Paul Okoye, Former members of Nigerian Afro-beats group P-Square

Tremaine Edmunds

Fe'Zahn Tremaine Edmunds (born May 2, 1998) is an American football linebacker for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Virginia Tech and was drafted by the Bills in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

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