2024 NFL International Player Pathway Spotlight: Sam Orji, OL, 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 autumn.

Let’s start with offensive line prospect Sam Orji.

The young offensive line prospect has been a staple in Educational Basketball training with the group as a basketball player and then a football player since 2019. Orji recently graduated from Pan Atlantic University in Lekki.

The 6’6 lineman caught the eyes of NFL scouts in 2023 at the NFL Africa Combine and is now getting his chance after showing impressive improvement over the last year.

Olutobi who has been training Orji for several years commented on the young man’s selection to this year’s NFL International Player Pathway.

“Orji has been training with us since 2019, making him one of our longest-tenured athletes. He has extremely quick feet for his size and projects as a offensive lineman. He comes from a great family and is a high-character athlete with a remarkable level of emotional intelligence, discipline, and attitude. “

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.

Orji 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