Detroit Free Press
At this point, there are so many stories about Jeff Okudah’s obsession with football and his efforts to perfect his art that they start to take on an almost mythological aspect.
Like the rumors surrounding Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or the talent of Darko Milicic, Okudah’s manic learning stories are no less wonderful and almost unbelievable.
Before the Detroit Lions chose him No. 3 in the April draft, Okudah played at Ohio State, where he harassed a coach about the film – while the coach moved into his new home a Saturday morning.
The cornerback moved the treatment sessions from the training room to his trainer’s office to watch more movies. Before being drafted, he contacted some of the NFL’s best backs on social media to get an idea of the NFL.
Lions defensive coordinator Cory Undlin on Wednesday became the last to tell his story about Okudah’s relentless passion for soccer.
“He is driven like few men I have known in this profession,” Undlin said in a Zoom conversation with reporters. “I know it and I can say it, but in a Zoom call. The guy, he’s constantly going to the point where it looks like, “Jeff, can we talk about something – can’t we talk about football for five minutes?” Do you do something else? How do we do it? ”
“This is how it is wired and I can’t wait to get it out and we’ll see what it looks like when it’s on the grass. “
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Undlin would not share any interests Okudah may have, if any, outside of football.
“I will leave his interests other than football alone,” he said. “I’ll let him tell you what it is. He’s an incredible child. ”
An obstinate and determined attitude should serve any player in his quest for improvement. But recruits can be different, as they go through nearly 18 consecutive months of uninterrupted football that begins with the fall camp of their last university season, in cartel and draft visits, then their first season in the NFL .
But Undlin does not care about the exhaustion of Okudah by football – or at least thinking and talking too much about football.
“Am I worried about the kid getting exhausted? No, not at all, ”he said. “Now this rookie wall, when you hit week 10 or week 11, it’s a different ball game. But mentally, I don’t care at all if he runs out, no. ”
Undlin said he was completely impressed with Okudah – even beyond his thoughts and actions on the sport.
“With this Zoom thing, I spent a lot of time with Jeff,” he said. “I think Detroit and Lions fans will really, really love him, not only as a player but as a person. “
Contact Carlos Monarrez at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.