Coach Prime Goes International | Deion Sanders Recruiting Nigerian DE Emmanuel Okoye

Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders has had a consistent motto ever since his days of coaching Prime Prep, his former charter school in Texas. Coach Prime has always stressed the “if you can play they’ll find you,” sentiment as it pertains to players looking for college offers or professional opportunities. And based on his early actions at Colorado, he’s living up to those words. 

The first-year Buffaloes head coach has made it a priority to recruit talented international players. In a little over three months at the helm, Sanders has already signed a pair of recruits from London, England. Linebacker Kofi Taylor-Barracks, and tight end Seydou Traore, a transfer from Arkansas State. Both are products of the ever growing NFL Academy in London. 

Sanders is no fool, and if he sees something that he believes can help his program he’s gonna do whatever it takes to get that player to Boulder. In late February, Sanders and staff went back to the well, offering edge Emmanuel Okoye of the NFL Academy. 

The International Factor

The talented pass rusher, who also holds offers from other Power Five programs such as Tennessee, Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Minnesota, told Alex Malchow of American Football International this in an interview following the big news. 

“I felt blessed to receive an offer from CU and to be recognized by great people who see my potential.”

“The NFL Academy has two phenomenal alumni in Kofi and Seydou at CU dominating at their positions and paving the way for other international students coming after them. They are making it easier for international players to be recognized.”

Okoye’s Measurables Jump Off The Screen

In today’s era of football teams can never have enough defensive backs and pass rushers. With pass rushers it’s more about the athletic specimens who have amazing wingspans and very good speed off the edge. That’s what Okoye possesses at 6 feet 6 and 230 pounds, while also having an unreal 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash at his school’s combine.

Okoye’s rise to college prospect started with former NFL star Osi Umenyiora’s Uprise Academy in Nigeria. That helped propel the gifted athlete into the player he’s growing into today. A natural athlete who not only plays football, Okoye just has the “it” factor, and Coach Prime is hoping to have him come to Boulder and show it.

“I always loved playing soccer and really, any sports. When I was in high school in Nigeria, I played any sport I could get my hands on.“

Basketball To Football: Okoye Bloomed In The UK

A huge basketball fan and lover of the sport, Okoye focused on that much more than football prior to his arrival in England. That changed after a great showing at the NFL Africa Camp, and a talk with the aforementioned Umenyiora, the two-time Super Bowl champ who convinced he and three other prospects to take the offer and go all-in with the gridiron. 

Since making the commitment, Okoye has been doing all the necessary things to continually raise his prospect status and just learn the game overall. One thing he did was put on 20 pounds. He’ll continue to do so until next December’s early signing period when he’s expected to make his collegiate choice, if not then he’ll announce in February 2024. 

Either way, one program is getting a raw but promising edge rusher who one can only hope has the ability to become the next Osi Umenyiora. 

Back to top