Lawrence Okoye

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Lawrence Okoye
refer to caption
Lawrence Okoye in 2012
Free agent
Position: Defensive End
Personal information
Date of birth: (1991-10-06) October 6, 1991 (age 31)
Place of birth: Croydon, England
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight: 304 lb (138 kg)
Career information
High school: London (UK) Whitgift
Undrafted: 2013
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at
Lawrence Okoye
Personal information
Nationality British
Born (1991-10-06) 6 October 1991 (age 31)
Height 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Weight 138 kg (304 lb)
Sport Track and field
Event(s) Discus throw
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 68.24 m

Lawrence Okoye (born 6 October 1991) is a British track and field athlete and an American football defensive end who is currently a free agent. He is the British record holder in the discus event and had a promising career in junior rugby union.[1]


Born in Croydon in south London to Nigerian parents of the Igbo ethnic group,[2] Okoye was educated at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Junior School, a Voluntary Aided Roman Catholic state primary school in Croydon, followed by Whitgift School, an independent school for boys (also in Croydon), in South London. Lawrence is also a keen academic, with an outstanding offer from Oxford University Law school which he is keen to take up in the future. Also, Okoye is an honorary member of the St. Peter's College JCR. He played rugby union as a winger[3] for Whitgift School playing in the Daily Mail Schools Rugby Under 18 final at Twickenham in 2010, he was also a member of the academy teams of both London Irish and London Wasps.[4]


Okoye began training full-time in the discus in September 2010 after a promising career as a junior rugby union player.[5] In his first international outing he came sixth in the discus throw at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics. He won a gold medal at the 2011 European Athletics U23 Championships in July 2011 at the age of 19.

Later on that season, Okoye threw a new British record of 67.63m at the McCain Jumps & Throws Fest. He then bettered that mark with another British record of 68.24 m at the Hallesche Werfertage meeting in May 2012.[6]

In the 2012 Summer Olympics, Okoye competed in the discus, reaching the final with a throw of 65.28m. In the final he finished in twelfth place with a throw of 61.03m. After the competition he expressed disappointment with his placing in the final.[7]

NFL career

2013 NFL Combine

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 6 in 304 lb 4.78 s 1.67 s 2.75 s 4.65 s 6.69 s 36 in 10 ft 7 in 30 reps
All values from Central Florida Pro Day.[8]

2013 NFL Draft

In March 2013, Okoye announced his intentions to play in the National Football League, despite having never played American football in high school or college; he stated that five NFL teams expressed interest in him, and planned to sign after the 2013 NFL Draft.[9] At the NFL Super Regional Combine, Okoye ran the 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds, while scoring 36 inches on the vertical jump and 10 feet, 7 inches on the broad jump.[10][11] Okoye was signed on April 27 by the San Francisco 49ers.[12]

San Francisco 49ers

File:Lawrence Okoye.JPG
Okoye in the 2015 NFL preseason

On August 27, 2013, Okoye was placed on Injured Reserve after sustaining an injury in the preseason.

On August 31, 2014, the 49ers announced that Okoye was added to the practice squad.[13]

On August 31, 2015, Okoye was waived in order for the 49ers to make the 53 man roster.

Arizona Cardinals

On September 7, 2015, the Arizona Cardinals signed Okoye to their practice squad.[14]

On October 21, 2015, the Cardinals released Okoye from their practice squad.[15]

New York Jets

On November 13, 2015, the New York Jets signed Okoye to their practice squad.[16] Okoye signed a reserve/future contract on January 11, 2016.[17]


  1. Okoye Lawrence. IAAF. Retrieved on 2012-05-21.
  2. Chadband, Ian (14 July 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Team GB's Lawrence Okoye hopes to repay headmaster's faith with discus medal". The Daily Telegraph.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Discus finalist Okoye considers rugby return after Olympics disappointment". Daily Mail. London. 15 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Anna Kessel (5 August 2011). "Discus thrower Lawrence Okoye has belief to be a world beater". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 August 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. German discus star Harting over 70 metres in Halle. European Athletics (2012-05-20). Retrieved on 2012-05-21.
  7. Hart, Simon (7 August 2012). "Lawrence Okoye bows out of London 2012 discus final". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Copeland, Kareem (31 March 2013). "Lawrence Okoye hopes to move from Olympics to NFL". National Football League. Retrieved 31 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Brooks, Bucky (9 April 2013). "Lawrence Okoye, Cody Davis shine at Super Regional Combine". National Football League. Retrieved 10 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Wesseling, Chris (27 April 2013). "Lawrence Okoye to 49ers leads free-agent rookie deals". National Football League. Retrieved 27 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "49ers Sign 7 Players To Practice Squad". |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Urban, Darren (September 7, 2015). "Practice Squad Set For Cardinals". Retrieved September 11, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Arizona Cardinals Transactions".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Slater, Darryl (November 17, 2015). "Meet Lawrence Okoye, former British Olympian signed by Jets". Retrieved November 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Lange, Randy (January 11, 2016). "Jets Sign 4 More to Reserve/Future Contracts". New York Jets. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016. Retrieved January 14, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links