Lawrence Okoye upbeat heading into training camp
Lawrence Okoye hopeful of making San Francisco 49ers roster as training camp nears
Lawrence Okoye has enjoyed his first taste of life as an NFL player after coming through organised team activities with the San Francisco 49ers.
The British record discus thrower is now set for the team training camp as pre-season nears. The Super Bowl runners-up have four pre-season games before the season kicks off in September.
Okoye is hoping to make the 53-man roster for the 2013-14 campaign, although he may settle for a place on the practice squad.
But the 21-year-old has loved every minute of the experience so far, and was full of praise for the 49ers organisation.
"So far, so good," Okoye told the Daily Mail. "The 49ers have really got behind me, from the young and inexperienced right up to their well-known, established names, and they have given me great confidence to believe I can go all the way."
All the way for Okoye means a spot on an NFL roster - a heady aim for someone without a down of American Football experience.
But scouts loved his physical tools - his quickness, power and size makes him the ideal defensive end.
Later this month training camp begins, with the rookies who've been at the practice facility for the past few weeks joined by the veterans and starting players.
Rookies - first year players like Okoye - start training camp on July 21 at the Marie P DeBartolo Sports Center, with the veterans joining five days later on July 26.
The 49ers play four pre-season games through the month of August - beginning with the Denver Broncos on August 8th at Candlestick Park - and Okoye hopes to be involved.
"The good thing about the 49ers is that they don’t have a reserve team, or a junior or B team,' Okoye explained.
"It’s just the 49ers squad. I’m really excited about training camp and also the pre-season games.
"I’m told I should be featuring in most if not all of them and if I do enough in them then I’m straight into the full NFL season.
"There’s a long way to go and a lot of hard work to come but I’m feeling good, it’s going well and it’s very feasible that I could be running out for the 49ers in the NFL by the autumn."