49ers give Olympian discus thrower a shot
There is virtually no risk with undrafted free agents and that is what the San Francisco 49ers have with Lawrence Okoye.
If he picks up football like he picked up throwing a discus, the team might just have itself a real lucky find.
Okoye announced via his Twitter account that he is signing with the 49ers after going undrafted. When he arrives in San Francisco, it will be his first exposure to the sport. A former rugby player, Okoye began throwing the discus two years ago and completed in the Olympics in London last year.
He made a pre-draft visit to the 49ers and participated in two regional combines. The Niners envision the 6-6, 305-pounder will be a defensive end.
“The things that really impressed: He had the rugby background growing up and didn't starting throwing the discuss until he was 18, and two years later he's throwing it in the Olympics," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, according to Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “You maybe start to put the pieces together and say, 'Taking on football at this time in his life?' I can see this guy doing it. I'm excited.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune