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5 things to know about Julian Okwara

The Detroit Lions selected Notre Dame edge rusher Julian Okwara in the third round (No. 67 overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Over the last couple weeks we've heard a lot about Okwara the football player and pass rusher, but what about Okwara the person?

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

1. Julian Okwara is the younger brother of Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara, but the two have never played organized football together. Romeo was a freshman at Notre Dame when Julian started high school football. When Julian followed his brother to Notre Dame, Romeo was headed to the NFL.

"I've always personally, wanted to play with him," Julian said after being drafted by the Lions. "He probably definitely wanted to play with me, so this is crazy. It's really happening now."

2. Okwara and his family moved to the United States (North Carolina) from Nigeria when Julian was a third-grader. Okwara recently went back and visited Nigeria and said at the Combine the experience really moved him.

Okwara played basketball and soccer growing up in Africa, but fell in love with football when he got to the U.S.

3. What interests Okwara off the field? He said he loves dogs and listens to a lot of music. His dog is a Cockapoo.

Okwara bought a music mixer and has started mixing up tracks at home trying to learn how to become a DJ.

4. Okwara's father, Julius, traveled frequently between Charlotte and Nigeria, where his business holdings include an auto shop, a water company and a White Castle Hotel.

Julian majored in management consulting in the Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, and says he eventually hopes to help run his father’s businesses.

5. Okwara made an immediate impact at Notre Dame, appearing in 11 games as a true freshman. He was one of only nine true freshmen (Julian Love, Devin Studstill, Donte Vaughn, Jalen Elliott, Troy Pride Jr., Daelin Hayes, Chase Claypool and Jamir Jones) who played in at least eight games as freshman. Okwara was a team captain for the Irish in 2019.

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