NFL International Player Pathway spotlight: Chukwuebuka Jason Godrick, Nigeria

Following last years’ three successful Nigerian athletes in the NFL’s International Player Pathway (IPP) program, 2022 offered nearly a dozen young men from the west African state. 

Six of the 11 chosen from those who attended the IPP combine in London to attend the next stage are from Nigeria, making it without a doubt the most successful country in the program this year.

One of those Nigerians is 21-year old Chukwuebuka Jason Godrick, or ‘Chu’, an offensive lineman from the country’s most populous city, Lagos.

Chu began playing basketball like all the other Nigerians – due to the sport being more accessible – before making the switch over to football via Educational Basketball. Standing at 6 ‘5 and 295 pounds, Educational Basketball brothers Olutobi and Iseolupo Adepitan describe seeing something special in the young man:

He was an aspiring basketball player who had graduated university. Prep school kid. He’s Igbo. We discovered him through another athlete and we recruited him after seeing a video of him attacking the rim. Anyone can attack the rim but there was a way which he did so that left me assured that he was not only a fit for the IPP program but that he had the ability to blossom into a top tier athlete.

The young Nigerian is now set to join his peers at the LeCharles Bently facility in Arizona early in 2023 in the hope of being one of the final four to be allocated to an NFL team shortly after the NFL Draft.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who has worked in B2B journalism and comms in the third sector; with experience in both education and human rights. He played for the London Warriors for 15 years as well as Team Great Britain .