The Los Angeles Rams do their best to find talent anywhere it can come from. While names like Aaron Donald, Jared Goff and Todd Gurley all jump off of the draft board as first rounders, the Rams have had some success in finding quality players later in the draft as well.
Okoronkwo spent all four of his college years at the University of Oklahoma. He graduated in 2017 with a degree in African and African-American studies and was eventually drafted by the Rams for his play on the field.
In addition to being an NFL-caliber player, Okoronkwo is also a unique person off the field with an even more unique name. In a recent interview with Sarina Morales of TheRams.com, he explained the meaning of his name and why he loves it so much:
“Honestly, I love my name. First of all, its meaning is, favored from God, can’t beat it. Then on top of that, my whole life I’ve never just been stumped in a conversation because my name is such a conversation starter. Like I introduce myself, ‘Hey, I’m Obo Okoronkwo, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.’ People are like, ‘What?’ So I really like my name in that aspect because it always just made me interesting, a lot of people have a lot to ask about it and I have a lot to tell about it. But you can call me Obeezy.”
Okoronkwo raises some great points about why he would not want to change it. Certainly between his name and his stature as a 6’2″, 245-pound linebacker, he turns a lot of heads.
So far, Okoronkwo has not seen a tremendous amount of playing time. He missed the first nine games of his rookie season due to a foot injury and then ended up not playing even once healthy.
This past season he found a way to see some time on the field, mainly as a special teams player. When he did get on the defense he did well, finishing the season 1.5 sacks, four quarterback hits and three solo tackles while playing in less than 11% of defensive snaps across 10 games. Hopefully, Okoronkwo can continue to work during the offseason and find his way into a bigger role for 2020, which could be the case with some key players potentially departing in free agency.