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No football experience necessary for Niners hopeful

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06:50 AM ET 05.02 | Lawrence Okoye has big dreams in, of all places, the NFL. [Okoye] plans to become a dominant defensive lineman with the 49ers, but realizes he must crawl before he can crash into opposing backfields. For example, here's one item on his to-do list: Figure out how to put on all that equipment. ... [Okoye], 6-foot-6 and 304 pounds, has some jaw-dropping measurables for such a carved-out-of-stone behemoth: a 4.78-second 40-yard dash, a 35-inch vertical jump and 10-foot, 5-inch broad jump. What he doesn't possess, however, has any experience putting on football pants. On a recent pre-draft visit to the Saints, though, he did don a helmet and shoulder pads for the first time.

San Francisco Chronicle

Lawrence Okoye, Icon Sports Lawrence Okoye, Icon Sports
May 2, 2013  07:24 AM ET

Ask Brock Lesnar how his NFL experiment went.

May 2, 2013  07:57 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Ask Brock Lesnar how his NFL experiment went.

They're gonna beat the ^hit out of him, aren't they?

It's too bad because as an athlete he'd be fun to watch. But it's going to hurt for this guy.

May 2, 2013  08:11 AM ET

I read that he has played some Rugby in the past, but I just don't see how it works out when your first exposure to American football happens at the NFL level.

May 2, 2013  08:12 AM ET

He's going to come up against veterans who have been playing this game since he was a twinkle in his father's eye. If he ever takes the field, it will be in a pre-season keep-or-cut evaluation game.

May 2, 2013  08:23 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

He's going to come up against veterans who have been playing this game since he was a twinkle in his father's eye. If he ever takes the field, it will be in a pre-season keep-or-cut evaluation game.

Somebody's going to slap him around and he's not going to know how to handle it. He's a long shot to make even the taxi squad.

May 2, 2013  08:39 AM ET

"What he doesn't possess, however, has any experience putting on football pants."

If he can't master that in 2 attempts, he should probably just go home. Worry more about catching, blocking, tackling, not getting crushed, etc.

May 2, 2013  08:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

"What he doesn't possess, however, has any experience putting on football pants."

If he can't master that in 2 attempts, he should probably just go home. Worry more about catching, blocking, tackling, not getting crushed, etc.

Right. He can play without pants until he masters the basics, and then go on to the more advanced stuff. Like Twittering.

May 2, 2013  09:03 AM ET

An undrafted free agent. No major commitment. If one wants to take a flyer on someone based on physical skills alone, a 305-pound guy with 4.78 speed sounds like a good flyer. Probably won't work out, but nothing of substance lost. And if it DOES work out, they have a Freak on their side.

May 2, 2013  09:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

An undrafted free agent. No major commitment. If one wants to take a flyer on someone based on physical skills alone, a 305-pound guy with 4.78 speed sounds like a good flyer. Probably won't work out, but nothing of substance lost. And if it DOES work out, they have a Freak on their side.

He will end up on the practice squad.

May 2, 2013  09:42 AM ET

Scout team for about 2 to 3 years and see what happens; the 49ers appear to be poised for this type of situation.

May 2, 2013  09:49 AM ET

Football experience is pretty important for success in the NFL. Bill Kazmaier, world's strongest man for many years, tried out for the OL with the Packers mulitiple times and never made it. Reynaldo Nehemiah, world class hurdler, looked over his shoulder to catch a pass, and when he turned upfield he was knocked out of the league by a safety. Most of the stars from other sports who make it in the NFL have had some footbal experience, exclusing kickers.

May 2, 2013  10:01 AM ET

Ah, but think of him as a gunner on punt coverage. I'm not sure I'd even want to make a fair catch with something like that coming down the tracks at me.

May 2, 2013  11:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Ah, but think of him as a gunner on punt coverage. I'm not sure I'd even want to make a fair catch with something like that coming down the tracks at me.

Wait until he has to whiz in a bottle and be tested. He is about half the size of those East German women swimmers that go to the Olympics. I am sure his time in Europe was well spent.

May 2, 2013  11:45 AM ET

Another Renaldo Nehemiah?

May 2, 2013  12:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Ah, but think of him as a gunner on punt coverage. I'm not sure I'd even want to make a fair catch with something like that coming down the tracks at me.

He won't have his head on a swivel and one of the punt return blockers will blindside him. He won't know what hit him. He'll wake up looking through the ear hole of his helmet.

May 2, 2013  01:03 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Another Renaldo Nehemiah?

**** didn't play in the trenches.

May 2, 2013  01:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

He won't have his head on a swivel and one of the punt return blockers will blindside him. He won't know what hit him. He'll wake up looking through the ear hole of his helmet.

Yeah. A big guy, no matter how fast he can run the 40, isn't the guy you want in kick and punt coverage. That 4.78 is in a straight line. The little guy who gets the ball is going to take one step sideways and be gone. That 304-pound discus tosser isn't going to be able to stop until he's already through the end zone and on top of a long-lens photographer.

May 2, 2013  01:15 PM ET

He was a low level draft pick, most of the guys selected in the round with him (or even before him) won't make their team, so really there was no down-side to picking him.

May 2, 2013  01:22 PM ET

Good Luck Astoroid!!!

 
May 2, 2013  02:59 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Yeah. A big guy, no matter how fast he can run the 40, isn't the guy you want in kick and punt coverage. That 4.78 is in a straight line. The little guy who gets the ball is going to take one step sideways and be gone. That 304-pound discus tosser isn't going to be able to stop until he's already through the end zone and on top of a long-lens photographer.

Those little 5'9" 175 WR / PR don't always avoid the big guy sprinting downfield. It would be interesting to see Ace Sander run head on with Okoye. Who did you say would get his bell rung ?

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