Having shown incredible potential at the NFL Academy, Emmanuel Okoye has officially signed on the dotted line with The University of Tennessee.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, the 6 ft 5 athlete has given his all to make it in the world of sport. And he owes it all to his family and his relationship with Jesus Christ.
Speaking exclusively to SPORF, he said: “My parents were the best parents that have ever been around. They brought me up in the best possible way. My father taught me how to be a man. My Mum nurtured me and brought me into the faith. I’m a firm believer in Jesus.
“We were a strong family. In the hard times, they let us know that things would get better. They gave us the mentality that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. You can’t just sit there and give up.
“I always had a strong connection with my siblings; I still have that now. We weren’t living the most extravagant life, but we were still grateful to God that he kept us and provided for us, and gave us all we had.
“Growing up in Lagos, it conditions your mind to live anywhere.”
From a young age, the Christian excelled in sports. Possessing a whopping wing span of 7 ft 2 inches and an incredible 45.5-inch vertical jump, Okoye was always destined for stardom. And in a testament to his hard work, he’s earned the opportunity of a lifetime.
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Emmanuel Okoye reveals his incredible journey to The University of Tennesse
Initially, the Nigerian gravitated towards basketball, but when the opportunity to play football came about, he couldn’t turn it down.
Utilising his God-given talents, he applied to take part in an Uprise Camp in Nigeria, where his ability was clocked by 2X Super Bowl Champion Osi Umenyiora. And after blowing away the sporting icon, he quickly found himself on a flight to London.
Proving he wasn’t just a flash in the pan, Okoye continued to impress in England to such an extent that the big dogs had to take note.
On May 17, Okoye officially signed for The University of Tennessee, and he couldn’t be prouder.
He beamed: “I feel great. It came quite fast. But I know it’s all for a reason. I was playing basketball a year ago, and now I’m going to Tennessee to play football. It’s incredible. But I’m down to work. I’m trying not to be nervous and just be confident in myself and what God has given me as my abilities.”
While many athletes of his talent could lose themselves in ego or drift off the righteous path, Okoye has remained committed, knowing that his greater purpose is right in front of him.
He concluded: “God holds greatness. With God by my side, things will turn out good. As long as I do what I’m supposed to do, he will keep working in my life. I keep moving up. The sky is the starting point; there’s no limit to what I can achieve.”
Featured Image Credit: University of Tennesse