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For Packers’ Nigerian rookie Kenneth Odumegwu, football is “a very new sport to me”

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Former NFL player Osi Umenyiora’s efforts to expand opportunities for African players in the NFL had an important achievement last week with the announcement that six Nigerian players will get roster spots this year as part of the NFL’s International Pathway Program. One of those players admits he has a long way to go before he understands the sport of American football.

Packers defensive lineman Kenneth Odumegwu was by far the least experienced player at the team’s rookie minicamp, and he said afterward that he’s still trying to figure the game out.

“I’m still yet to play an organized game of football, to be honest,” Odumegwu said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “To be honest, football is a brand-new sport to me . . . I’ve seen it on the media. Like last year, I didn’t know like what was a line of scrimmage. I didn’t know none of that. So, to be honest, we don’t know about American football in Nigeria, so it’s a very new sport to me.”

Umenyiora’s program spotted Odumegwu playing basketball and thought he might have NFL talent, and it was Umenyiora himself who decided Odumegwu would be a defensive lineman when Odumegwu showed up to the football camp for African players that Umenyiora hosted in Ghana. Once Odumegwu was told that he would be a Packer, he started learning who the Packers were, and now he’s excited to be a part of the organization.

“The moment I got allocated to this team, the Green Bay Packers,” Odumegwu said, “I started learning more about the team and I’m proud to be part of the team who has the most championships in the history of NFL.”