David Ojabo hangs up his phone and lets out a guttural roar of relief and joy.
The Destiny Child, David Ojabo, is 2022’s newest NFL draft pick
July 23, 2022
His circuitous route to the NFL — which began in Nigeria, had stops in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and Michigan — finally has come to an end in Baltimore.
With the 45th pick of the 2022 draft, the Baltimore Ravens had selected Ojabo, the 6-foot-4-inch, 255-pound outside linebacker from the University of Michigan.
The emotional exclamation of happiness from Ojabo upon being selected bore a little extra oomph due to the trials and tribulations he’s had to face along the way, most notably tearing his Achilles just weeks prior to the draft.
Although some suggested the injury might have affected his draft stock — he was predicted by some experts to be a first-round pick .
And for a player looking who has just been drafted into the league, it couldn’t have been a better fit for Ojabo. His high school teammate, Odafe Oweh, was selected in the first round of last year’s draft by the Ravens, and the team’s new defensive coordinator, Mike Macdonald, was Ojabo’s defensive coordinator at Michigan.
As Ojabo told CNN Sport, he’s a “destiny child.”
“Everything that happens in this life to me, it’s not me,” the 22-year-old said. “I’m just living out my script.
“So from where I was ‘supposed’ to go, that’s not my destiny. I’m supposed to go here evidently. What are the chances that coach Mike (Macdonald), all of them come in one year, we go crazy in Michigan, win the Big Ten and then, the next year, I go to league and I follow him.
“It’s not by accident. So I don’t have any worries in this life, man. I just live it day by day.”
So much already achieved by a young man who started playing the sport five years ago.
Born in soccer-crazy Nigeria, then seven-year-old Ojabo and his family moved to Scotland because of his dad’s job as an engineer.
And it was In Britain that Ojabo blossomed and discovered his love for sports. Along with his brother, he became proficient at both soccer and basketball.
Although his brother was the “main sports guy in the family” at a young age, Obajo is the one to take athletics seriously enough to make a professional career from of it.
“Now, (my brother) is more on a smart side and I kind of took over,” he explained.
But despite his best laid plans, his destiny soon all changed.
While he was running track at his high school, Blair Academy in New Jersey, Ojabo had a first-row seat at seeing his now-teammate with the Ravens, Oweh, “blow up” while playing American football.
Oweh, who was a year above Ojabo, went on to commit to Penn State to play college football before eventually being drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft with the 31st overall pick.
And so, in 2017, at the age of 17 — much later than most would pick it up — Ojabo tried his hand at American football.
The rest, they say, is history.
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