Skip to main content

5 things to know about Jeff Okudah

The Detroit Lions made cornerback Jeff Okudah their first-round pick (No. 3 overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Over the last week we've heard a lot about Okudah the football player, but what about Okudah the person?

Here are five things we learned about one of the newest Lions:

1. Okudah has a strong drive and work ethic that was instilled in him at a young age from watching his mother, Marie, go through chemotherapy while continuing to put herself through nursing school before she passed away in 2017.

"Just seeing that, (it) just instilled a work ethic just knowing that you get out what you put into things," Okudah said. "I'm always trying to put my best foot forward and strive to be great."

2. Count Okudah among those huge Netflix lovers out there. He said he binge watches a lot of TV shows in his free time.

What is Okudah watching now? Ozark.

"I'm on season three right now," he said. "I'll finish it up this weekend probably."

3. It turns out NBA superstar LeBron James is a big Okudah fan.

"We're signed to the same agency," Okudah said of his relationship with James. "So, through that we spoke before. I think that just seeing what he said is kind of a testimony of the hard work that's been put in. It was a pretty cool shout out."

I'd say.

4. Whenever Okudah is allowed to come to Detroit and start working, he's going to need someone to show him around.

Okudah has never been to Detroit, and said he's only been in the state of Michigan three times in his life, all on business – playing Michigan in Ann Arbor and Michigan State in Lansing.

"As far as Detroit, I don't know too much about the actual city," he admitted. "I know – obviously just watching football – I know about the (Detroit Lions) franchise. They've had some really great players come play for the Lions, so it's obviously an honor to wear the jersey. I'm beyond eager – just getting there, learning about the city, learning about the organization and just soak it all in."

5. They say everything is bigger is Texas.

When it comes to football, and particularly high school football, it really doesn't get any bigger than the state of Texas. Eight of the nine largest high school football stadiums are in the state of Texas.

Okudah moved from New Jersey to Texas in the sixth grade, and said he saw the competition level rise right away.

"I think that just seeing the change of competition and how serious sports is taken in Texas was big because when I got to Ohio State I was already used to competing against the top guys," Okudah said. "I think just having that background of high level of competition, I think it paid dividends."

Related Content