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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — David Ojabo mentioned “it means the world” to him to get drafted by the Baltimore Ravens within the second spherical Friday, which was precisely six weeks to the day that he suffered a devastating Achilles damage at his Michigan professional day.
Ojabo was thought of a possible top-10 decide on this 12 months’s NFL draft earlier than he suffered the damage in a positional drill on March 18 and crashed to the bottom, the place he clutched his left leg in ache. On the time, he was ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.’s top-rated outdoors linebacker prospect.
When he was chosen with the No. 45 total decide, Ojabo closed his eyes, tilted his head again and let loose a scream. Then, he hugged relations whereas tears ran down his face.
“You’ve got seen it, it was uncooked emotion. Each second of that, I felt it,” Ojabo mentioned. “Simply being surrounded by family and friends. It is a second I am going to always remember.”
Go rush is the Ravens’ largest want, however there’s a likelihood that Baltimore will not see Ojabo on the sphere till 2023. It is attainable that Ojabo should sit out this season.
Ojabo, who was sporting a protecting boot round his left foot and sat on a sofa Friday, mentioned he’s nonetheless hopeful to play in 2022.
“I am positively hopeful,” he mentioned. “However I can not predict the longer term. So, I am simply day-to-day, do as I am informed and hope for one of the best.”
Ojabo mentioned that was his first-ever damage.
“It is a bump within the highway,” he mentioned. “Simply one other impediment that I’ll conquer.”
Ravens common supervisor Eric DeCosta mentioned the crew’s medical doctors have not seen Ojabo for the reason that medical recheck however they’re “optimistic that sooner or later this 12 months he’ll have an opportunity to play.”
DeCosta acknowledged that he thought Ojabo can be a viable first-round decide for the Ravens after watching him play within the fall.
Final season, Ojabo delivered a career-best 11 sacks and 5 pressured fumbles (which led all Energy 5 gamers) in his solely full season of faculty soccer.
Ojabo heads to Baltimore, the place he has loads of familiarity. When wholesome, he’ll crew with former highschool teammate Odafe Oweh, the Ravens’ first-round decide from a 12 months in the past, to kind a promising pass-rush tandem.
On his Instagram, Odafe posted: “I would bouta be a film!!”
Ojabo additionally reunites with Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who served as his defensive coordinator at Michigan final season.
“It is all a part of the plan,” Ojabo mentioned. “What are the chances that the person who is available in and offers me an opportunity to play, in the end is the man I am following to the subsequent degree as nicely. It is meant to be.”
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