2024 NFL International Player Pathway Spotlight: Isaac Ajanah, Edge, Nigeria

Last year seven Nigerians were part of the NFL International Player Pathway, these athletes translated their shot at the NFL into reality as six were allocated to NFL teams last May.

Jason Godrick (Kansas City Chiefs), David Agoha (Las Vegas Raiders), and Kenneth Odumegwu (Green Bay Packers) were NFL IPP players from last year. The athletes were part of the Lagos-based training group Educational Basketball as brothers Olutobi and Iseolupo Adetipan have become the leaders in American football player development in Africa working along with Osi Uymenyiora’s Uprise Academy.

This year, they have three athletes heading to the United States hoping to join their former Educational Basketball products in the NFL this fall.

Starting with young edge prospect Isaac Ajanah.

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Isaac Ajanah is a relatively new prospect to the Educational Basketball program as he joined them in January at their NFL IPP tryouts.  The 6’3  230-pound edge prospect is an all-around athlete with backgrounds in several sports including basketball and soccer. Since dedicating himself to American football he has put on weight, gained strength, and improved quickly earning himself a shot at the NFL.

Ajanah was one of the standouts at this past year’s NFL Africa Combine his long arms, quick feet, and relentlessness caught the eyes of NFL scouts, and NFL camp leaders like former New York Giant Osi Uymenyiora.

Olutobi who has been training Ajanah since January commented on the young man’s quick development and dedication earning himself a selection to this year’s NFL International Player Pathway.

“Me and my brother Iseolupo saw Isaac our NFL IPP tryout last January and we really liked the way he moved. He had excellent hips and change of direction. We saw him improve quickly as he put on over 30-lbs of muscle since focusing on american football. Isaac trained hard with us and did a lot of work on his own to improve as well. He continued to progress quickly and was turning heads in August at the NFL Africa Combine.”

Instituted in 2017, the NFL International Player Pathway program aims to give elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

Since its inception, 37 international players have signed with NFL teams (allocated, drafted, and or signed as a free agent), with 18 IPP athletes currently on 2023 NFL rosters.

Ajanah takes aim at the NFL  for a second time NFL through the NFL International Player Pathway Program as he was one of the 16 players from around the world selected to compete for their spots on an NFL squad. He will fly to the United States soon to begin training.

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and