For many people, Obi Melifonwu of the National Football League (NFL) is a unique player for a handful of reasons. Apart from his background details which have been traced to the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, it is believed that the London-born American footballer is the safety of rare talent.
Irrespective of the fact that he was only selected to join the NFL universe in 2017, he is already being compared to some of the finest safeties the league has seen. It is said that his attitude is akin to those of athletic legends and that it wouldn’t be an irresponsible call for anyone to regard him as one of the first-rate safeties in the game.
But then, those are just expectations, expressions of goodwill, and hopes that the chap would fare well in his professional career. Thus far, Obi is yet to claim any significant attainment and has a lot to accomplish if he must find a space in NFL’s history. Well, we all have to keep up with him, wait, and see if he would live up to expectations or fade into oblivion. While at that, let’s learn about the things one ought to know about the Oakland Raiders’ safety.
Obi Melifonwu Bio (Age, Ethnicity, and Other Background Details)
As mentioned earlier, Obi Melifonwu is an English-American footballer of African heritage. Even though he was birthed in London, England, his roots hail from the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. Named Henry William Obiajulu Melifonwu after his birth on 5th April 1994, his Nigerian-born parents would move their family to the United States of America when Obi was only 3 and settle in Massachusetts where they now regard as home.
He crossed paths with American football as a student of Grafton High School in Massachusetts. He proved to be athletically inclined as he competed for the school’s track team in the long and triple jump while he excelled in football both as a running and defensive back. In his senior year, he pulled off 3 interceptions with 14 tackles, accumulated 17 touchdowns, and rushed for 1,394 yards. Among other recognitions, ESPN named him in its Boston All-State team.
Moving on from high school, Obi decided to have his college career with the Huskies of the University of Connecticut. His four-year college career had him play 48 games for the Huskies. Starting in 47 of those games, he was able to reach the 8th spot in the school history with his record of 351 tackles. In all, he rounded things up with the university’s team, gathering 2 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles, 8 interceptions, 16 pass deflections, 224 solo tackles, and 351 tackles.
His remarkable performance with the team brought him a good number of awards and recognition. While Scout.com named him as an honorable mention in its Freshman All-American team, he went on to receive the All-New England, All-ECAC, and first-team All-AAC honors.
The Beginning Of His Professional Career
Following his fine college career, Obi Melifonwu was ranked among the top best safeties on several platforms, and it was projected that he would be selected in the second-round pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. This came to pass when the Oakland Raiders got him drafted, he was the 56th overall pick.
It later emerged that he has inked a four-year deal with the Team of the Decade which will see him earn over $4.5 million. As reported, the contract came with about a $1.4 million signing bonus.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
As far as sports go, American football demands a great deal of height, a strong physique, and physical fitness. Melifonwu hasn’t been found wanting in this regard. The Raiders’ safety is 3 or 4 inches taller than 6 feet and weighs 224 lb. His arm length measures 32 1⁄2 in and his hand size is 9 1⁄8 in.
Interesting Facts About The Raiders’ Safety
1. His name Obiajulu means the heart is consoled
2. Obi has been playing football since he was 9 years old.
3. This bloke has 3 brothers, his younger brother, Ifeatu is also a footballer; he plays as a defensive back for the Syracuse Orange football team of Syracuse University.
4. The Raider’s safety is skeptical about being famous, he doesn’t want people to treat him differently.
5. Obi’s mom, Tina is a nurse. According to him, the woman has sacrificed much for the Melifonwu family, is his everything, and he wants to make her proud.