Ayo Oyelola and Adedayo Odeleye join NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans as part of International Player Pathway program | NFL News


Cameron Hogwood

Interviews, Comment & Analysis @ch_skysports

German defensive back Marcelo Dabo also joins the Indianapolis Colts, while the Netherlands’ Thomas Odukoya has been allocated to the Tennessee Titans.

Last Updated: 03/05/22 3:18pm

Britain's Ayo Oyelola (left) and Adedayo Odeleye (right) make up two of 11 participants on the NFL's International Player Pathway program

Britain’s Ayo Oyelola (left) and Adedayo Odeleye (right) make up two of 11 participants on the NFL’s International Player Pathway program

The UK’s Ayo Oyelola and Adedayo Odeleye are among four players to have been allocated to NFL teams as part of the league’s International Player Pathway program.

Defensive back Oyelola will join up with the Jacksonville Jaguars while Odeleye has been assigned to the Houston Texans after both had also been part of the 2021 program’s training phase.

Oyelola first fell in love with football while watching Saquon Barkley highlights during a law lecture at the University of Nottingham, where he graduated from in 2020.

He spent last season playing for the Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League.

Defensive lineman Odeleye, who was born in Nigeria before moving to the UK with his family at the age of nine, was first introduced to football upon enrolling at Loughborough, where his natural size and physicality caught the eye of the American Football team captain at the university’s sports fair.

After missing out on a spot with an NFL team in 2021, Odeleye took his talents to the Berlin Thunder in the European League of Football, earning a place on the ELF All-Star team.

Germany defensive back Marcel Dabo has been assigned to the Indianapolis Colts after winning Defensive Rookie of the Year with the ELF’s Stuggart Surge last season.

Dutch tight end Thomas Odukoya meanwhile joins the Tennessee Titans having played college football at East Michigan University.

Last month also saw Nigerian duo Chigbo Roy Mbaeteka and Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi sign with the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals, respectively, having come through The Uprise programme, launched by two-time Super Bowl winning defensive end Osi Umenyiora.

The International Player Pathway program enters its sixth year in 2022 having paved the way to opportunities in the NFL for the likes of Efe Obada (Washington Commanders), Jordan Mailata (Philadelphia Eagles), Jakob Johnson (New England Patriots) and Sammis Reyes (Washington Commanders).

Aaron Donkor (Seattle Seahawks), Alfredo Gutierrez (San Francisco 49ers), Max Pircher (Los Angeles Rams) and Bernhard Seikovits (Arizona Cardinals) will all remain with their NFC West teams having come through the 2021 program.

Isaac Alarcon (Dallas Cowboys), David Bada (Washington Football Team), Matt Leo (Philadelphia Eagles) and Sandro Platzgummer (New York Giants) meanwhile enter their third year with their respective NFC East sides.

“The IPP program is instrumental in the discovery and development of international players, and we are excited the quality of players continues to increase each year,” said Damani Leech, NFL Chief Operating Officer of International.

“We’ve seen great momentum in the program with Roy and Haggai having already signed with teams this year. They, along with the players allocated to teams through the program, will now have the chance to further develop their skills in an NFL environment. Teams are looking forward to welcoming the players to their camps this summer.”





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