US football sensation David Ojabo is heralded as a future NFL star after a stunning start to the season, despite never watching a game until a few years ago.
The Scotsman, of Westhill, Aberdeen, is a leading player at the University of Michigan where he wreaked havoc on his opponents in front of more than 110,000 supporters.
He arrived in the United States five years ago with big basketball plans, but left the field to tackle the irons and pursue what many thought was an impossible dream.
But after two years on the outskirts of the action, the 21-year-old passer has burst onto the scene and caught the eye of NFL talent assessors – who can award contracts worth over $ 70. million pounds to the stars who perform in his position.
David, who last week played a huge role in his team’s first victory over rivals Ohio State in nine years, which was watched by 16 million people, said: “I still have a condition. of everyday spirit and I can not go too far in the future.
âThe clearer the vision becomes, the more I have to focus. It is a good feeling to represent Scotland, but if you are wrong the dream can also fail.
âI try to go as far as possible. If you had asked me five years ago about football, I would have answered that I did not want to play. Now, five years later, I have an impact, so who knows what will happen in five years.
âI just roll with the punches. I came to this country with a sport in mind, I bounced back and now I’m where I am. I just have to keep pushing and see how far I can go.
âI try to be legendary and represent Scotland in any way I can and it’s good to go to Michigan. If I’m the first Scotsman to play my job in college football and try for the NFL, I just want to represent the country as best I can.
David, who knows his NFL compatriots in Inverness Cleveland Browns punter Jamie Gillan and Arbroath-born New York Giants kicker Graham Gano, loves the fact that he’s the only Scotsman on campus.
And although he has an American accent after attending the International School of Aberdeen, he still quickly corrects people who think he is American.
And things got even better for him last week after parents Victor and Ngor traveled to Ann Arbor to watch their first game and appear on the College Gameday TV show which is watched by millions of people.
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He says, âIt’s everyone’s dream. You come to Michigan and you want to play in front of all these fans and ultimately win games for your team.
âI’m starting to get noticed. So I take the moment and have to go get more. When you start making coins, a lot more people know your name. It’s a good feeling but I have to stay focused.
âWhen I tell people that I am from Scotland, they are surprised. It’s mixed. Some have never heard of it, others assume it’s in England, but they’re still surprised.
David and his team now have their eyes set on college football’s biggest prize – the domestic championship – to be decided in January.
And on a personal note, he should be one of the top picks in the April NFL Draft if he declares – he has another year of college eligibility – where 32 NFL outfits select their stars. from the future.
Even David can’t believe how quickly everything fell into place and transformed his life.
The star athlete, who attended high school on a basketball and track scholarship at Blair Academy in New Jersey, hopes other Scots can follow in his footsteps.
He says, âIt’s all about the timing. That’s why I came to America to have a better chance of being spotted.
âSomeone in Scotland can see their abilities, but you need the connections to take them to the next level. And you play against the best of the best because that’s what it is when it comes to sports.
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