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British discus thrower draws NFL interest

The SportsXchange

British discus thrower Lawrence Okoye has never played American football, but he apparently has attracted the attention of NFL teams based on his potential.

After the 21-year-old Olympian participated in a regional scouting combine last week in Atlanta, he said five teams expressed interest in him. The next step is the super regional on April 7 in Dallas.

The 6-foot-6, 248-pound Okoye had come to Florida to train but plans to put his track and field career on hold for a shot at the NFL. He finished 12th in the 2012 Olympics in the men's discus in London.

"At the combine, I really stood out because of my size, strength and speed," Okoye told The Daily Mail. "I don't want to sound arrogant, but I was good on the day -- to the point that a lot of NFL clubs began talking to me immediately on the back of it. They all see me as a defensive end, which suits me just fine.

"I've had some meetings since and done some private workouts with some clubs, too, and already they are talking to me about contracts."

Okoye's closest experience to football is as a rugby player.

"From my mid-teenage years everyone kept telling me to give American football a go," Okoye told The Daily Mail, "and I thought about applying for an American college scholarship when I was 16. I've always been a huge NFL fan for as long as I can remember. I want to give this my best shot. It's a rare life opportunity."

Okoye said he wouldn't sign a contract before the NFL draft in April.

"I have no reason to believe that it's not going to happen," he said.
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