Scotland’s David Ojabo declares for the 2022 NFL Draft

Nigerian-born and Scotland-raised David Ojabo, a standout edge rusher for the University of Michigan Wolverines, made it official yesterday tweeting out his intention to forego his senior season and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft.

Ojabo earned second-team All-American honors for this past season racking up 11 sacks, 35 tackles, and five forced fumbles as the Wolverines won the Big Ten and made the college football playoffs. Following his breakout junior year, Ojabo appears ready for the next level.

The future pro spent the first seven years of his life in Nigeria before he and his family moved to Aberdeenshire Scotland. While growing up on the country’s northeastern coast, Ojabo always stood out athletically, dominating his peers in soccer, basketball, and track and field. He even ran a 10.8 100- meter dash, while soaring for rebounds over taller players on the hardwood. It didn’t take long for friends and family to see that the slim teenager was ripe with untapped athletic potential.

“I felt like my athleticism is just a whole level above everyone else. So my coach and I discussed our options and I found a school in New Jersey, Blair academy. That’s when sports really ramped up and I found football.”

After moving to the US to pursue his athletic endeavors it was only a matter of time before he was lured to the gridiron. Ojabo quickly got the hang of high school football as he racked up 35 scholarship offers after his first season. Scouts drooled over his massive frame, long arms, and quick first step. Ojabo went on to choose Michigan over blue-chip programs such as Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Tennesse.

Adjusting to the college game, however, proved to be more of a challenge. Sitting behind future NFL Draft picks Josh Uche and Kwity Paye in his first two seasons, the former Scottish track star didn’t see much action. Patiently waiting for his chance, Ojabo’s break out season earned the praise of defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald:

“What you saw on tape was a guy with great ability. You could tell there was some untapped potential there. It kinda made sense a little bit once you realized his history. But his learning curve — I was telling somebody, I think he learns more football in a day than I did in like two years. He’s just a sponge, soaks it all up. He’s doing a great job. Fun to coach.”

As far as the NFL is concerned, Ojabo is seen as one of the top pass-rushing prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft, being projected as high as the 10th overall pick by analyst Mel Kiper. The Nigerian-born and Scotland-raised junior has only been playing football for five years, yet his athleticism and 6’5,” 250 pound frame flash all-pro potential. Listening to the pundits debate, Ojabo is generally projected to go anywhere from the first to third round come April.

NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper on Ojabo’s massive upside:

“Ojabo has been one of the most impressive newcomers in the country this season,” Kiper wrote. “He has flashed advanced pass-rush moves — check out this spin on the right tackle for a strip-sack against Indiana — and his athletic traits pop on tape. While Ojabo needs to work on his all-around game, there’s a lot to like. He’s still young; he could develop into an elite edge rusher.”

Read more about Ojabo’s incredible football journey here.

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football