2024 NFL International Player Pathway Spotlight: Udu Uzuegbu, 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 athletes were part of the Lagos-based training group Educational Basketball as bothers 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.

Starting with young edge prospect Udo Uzuegbue

Udochukwu Uzuegbu is another former basketball player converting to the gridiron. The 6’5 athlete has a history of playing high-level basketball in Nigeria but has been focusing for two years on American football.

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

This is the young defensive lineman’s second shot in the NFL as he was invited to the 2023 NFL International Combine in London England. However, he was unable to attend due to issues with his visa. This threw a wrench in his NFL IPP prospects. Ultimately, Uzuegbu’s patience paid off as he has been invited to the US this year to chase his NFL dreams, and maybe even join his old training partners from Educational Basketball in the NFL.

Unlike many African prospects we’ve seen come through the program, Uzuegbu does have some American football experience playing both flag football and tackle football in Lagos. Check out Uzuegbu at receiver below:

Olutobi Adetipan of Education Basketball has been training Udo for two years commented on the young man’s selection to this year’s NFL International Player Pathway.

“Udo is a fluid athlete who has improved a lot since last year. He was invited to the NFL IPP  Combine in 2023 but couldn’t attend due to visa issues. Now he is finally get his well deserved shot at the NFL one year later.”

Instituted in 2017, the NFL International Player Pathway program aims to allow elite international athletes 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.

Uzuegbu aims 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