Seattle Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu cited the desire to take on a more prominent role in an NFL team as a reason for leaving the Los Angeles Chargers for his new team.
Nwosu spent four seasons with the Chargers, with his last being the most productive. The 25-year-old registered a career-high five sacks in 2021, featuring in 17 matches last season.
However, he considers he can play an even bigger role at the Seahawks, who are expected to deploy a 3-4 defensive scheme, similar to the one which finally brought out his best abilities in his last season with the Chargers.
Facing the media alongside Houston Texans defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo at an NFL FanZone event in Accra on Sunday, Nwosu said: “Sometimes, everybody’s situation is different, but some people might want to take on a bigger role, and to do that, you might have to switch teams.
“The best opportunity was presented to us [himself and Okoronkwo, who recently joined the Texans from the Los Angeles Rams], and we took it and thought it was the best decision for us.”
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Nwosu has been assisting the NFL with training prospects in Ghana, with a pool of 49 African players, scouted predominantly by New York Giants legend Osi Umenyiora, congregating at the Right to Dream Academy’s soccer venue.
Nigeria has been the most prominent African country in NFL history, with 92 players in the league currently, and Nwosu, who was born in Carson, California, expressed pride in his heritage.
“We [Nigerians] work hard. We always want to finish first. We never give up and always represent and carry the name well, with respect, and just carry ourselves to a higher standard,” Nwosu said.
Commenting on what sets Nigeria apart as a producer of NFL talent, he added: “I wouldn’t say it’s because of our size or because we’re bigger or better or anything like that. I just feel like we just … play. It’s a good question.
“Don’t get us wrong; there’s a lot of Ghanaians and other African countries in the NFL too.”
Okoronkwo added that it was a circular process.
“I think it’s more of a perception thing,” he said. “When Nigerians started coming into the league, they started doing well, so more Nigerians were getting opportunities because Nigerians were doing well.”
The pair pledged to work together in Nigeria in the near future, with Okoronkwo saying: “We both plan on, at some point — maybe next offseason — going to Nigeria and doing some things there.”
As Nwosu added, “Whether that be a camp or just helping out in the community, the sky is the limit, so we look forward to doing that.”
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