Okoye has “opportunity” says San Francisco 49ers Co-Chairman York

Croydon-born Lawrence working hard on the West Coast

by Andrew McSteen

Speaking last week in London, San Francisco 49ers Co-Chairman John York revealed that he has been paying particular attention to Lawrence Okoye, the former Whitgift School student and Olympian who was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the American side last April.

John York

“I met Lawrence the day after the NFL Draft when we brought him in,” said York. “He was extremely interested in trying his talents in the NFL and was very humble about trying to understand the game and being part of the game.”

York, whose wife Denise is also a Co-Chairman of the 49ers, explained that Okoye, who has a deferred place to study Law at Oxford University until 2017 and stands at 6ft 6” tall, was slowly finding his way through learning the game.

“I saw him before (I came to London) and he was telling me that he was sure he could get the physical part of the game and the footwork down, “ said  York about the physically-gifted Okoye who, upon being signed was described as an “Adonis” by his coach Jim Harbaugh.

“He really did not realise the concepts of American Football were so intriguing and I thought that really showed a mental attitude that was going to speak well for him in the future.”

“We’re looking for good things from him,” continued York whose son Jed, is now the team owner and president “it will take a while for him to transition (from discus to American Football) but I think he has an opportunity.”

The San Francisco 49ers play the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday 27 October 2013 as part of the NFL International Series at Wembley Stadium.

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