New York Giants great Osi Umenyiora helps expand NFL Africa program

By Dan Benton

Since his retirement in 2015, former New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora has remained very much involved in the game of football.

Umenyiora took a pundit position at BBC Sport and became engaged with the league’s overseas ventures — the NFL International Series and NFL Africa.

As part of NFL Africa, Umenyiora has helped discover several new players who have traveled to America and joined NFL teams. Among the discoveries was former Giants offensive lineman Roy Mbaeteka, a Nigerian native who spent time with the team in 2022 via the International Player Pathway Program.

Here in 2023, Umenyiora and NFL Africa have expanded into Kenya where a talent identification camp and NFL Flag football showcase in Nairobi are currently underway.

“It has always been a dream of mine to bring the NFL to Africa and over the past couple of years The Uprise and NFL have made that dream a reality,” Umenyiora said, via “It’s been incredible to see the opportunities it has provided through the International Player Pathway Program, the NFL Academy and Flag football, and this is only the beginning.”

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Twenty-nine prospects aged 16 – 21, from African nations including Cameroon, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal will take part in a 3-day NFL Combine-style camp to showcase their skills.

Participants will be competing for invites to the NFL International Combine, NFL International Player Pathway Program, or the opportunity to join the NFL Academy in the UK as part of League efforts to advance pathways to play in the NFL for international athletes.

Players were invited to attend the NFL event, spearheaded by Osi Umenyiora, a two-time Super Bowl champion who was born in the UK to Nigerian parents, after taking part in Umenyiora’s ‘The Uprise’ initiative, which held scouting events for more than 200 athletes across six countries in recent months.