With over 35 colleges vying for his signature, Daniel Akinkunmi has dedicated his bright future to Division 1 US college, The University of Oklahoma.
Since joining the NFL Acadamy in 2021, the 215-pound powerhouse has become quite the force. Under the tutelage of Steve Hagen, the offensive lineman emerged as the hottest prospect in Europe, with a ceiling most could only dream of reaching.
Born in London, with Nigerian blood coursing through his veins, the natural-born warrior was always destined for success. And while he could’ve turned his hand to any sport of his choosing, it was the spartan lifestyle of American football that grasped his imagination and made him the man he is today.
His time at the NFL Academy, an elite player pathway programme, which helps athletes from around the globe reach their potential, was nothing short of inspiring.
During tours of Baltimore/Philadelphia, Texas and Georgia, the athlete utilised his God-given skills to capture the attention of the Americans, who lined-up in numbers in a bid to secure his services.
Daniel Akinkunmi picks the University of Oklahoma
With an overwhelming sense of joy, Akinkunmi is eternally grateful for the place the NFL Academy has led him to.
He beamed: “The NFL Academy and Loughborough have been life-changing – from teaching me the game of football, to important lessons off the field. They have given me some of my best memories.
“During my official visit, I watched the Oklahoma vs Arkansas State game. This was my first college football gameday experience, and it showed me how much this team has improved and how badly they want to win. I wanted to be part of a programme that has a culture of winning. And the University of Oklahoma is that place.
“Coach Brent Venables has positively impacted so many players. When we spoke, it didn’t feel like a pitch; it felt like a man-to-man talk. It was the most real conversation I had during my recruiting journey. The future is very bright for me. The goal is to be a true freshman and to have as big of an impact on the team as possible.”
Daniel Akinkunmi’s journey to the University of Oklahoma is inspirational for the next generation
Ultimately, his success is a reflection of the incredible coaching he received from Steve Hagen. With 38 years of experience, 11 of which spent in the NFL with the New York Jets and the Cleaveland Browns, the veteran of the game knows how to make winners, and Akinkunmi is no exception.
The American said: “This is another fantastic day for the NFL Academy as Daniel commits to a great programme. And the entire team could not be happier for him.
“Daniel quickly became a leader at the NFL Academy. He will continue to be a role model and inspiration for those around him. The NFL Academy provides life-changing opportunities for talented young athletes from around the world to excel both in education and elite sport performance, and Daniel is an example of this programme. He leaves a better athlete and a better man. We wish him well at Oklahoma and in the years to come.”
Featured Image Credit: NFL