The Houston Texans will receive DL Adedayo Odeleye from the United Kingdom, as part of the 2022 NFL International Player Pathway program, the league announced Tuesday. Now in its sixth season, the program is part of the NFL's efforts to strengthen the pipeline of international players and provide elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.
Born in Nigeria and raised in the UK since the age of nine, Odeleye started playing football in 2017 at Loughborough University. The three-year defensive lineman was named a team captain in his second year. Last year, he participated in the 2021 International Player Pathway training phase but was not allocated to a team. Instead, Odeleye spent his 2021 campaign with the Berlin Thunder of the European League of Football where he was named to the ELF All-Star team.
The AFC South was chosen to receive these players in a random draw and becomes the sixth division to participate in the program. Odeleye joins DB Marcel Dabo from Germany (Indianapolis Colts), TE Thomas Odukoya from the Netherlands (Tennessee Titans) and DB Ayo Oyelola from the United Kingdom (Jacksonville Jaguars) as part of the 2022 International Player Pathway Program.
Teams will carry these players on their roster until the end of training camp. At that time, the players are eligible for an international player practice squad exemption, granting the team an extra practice squad member. Clubs will have the opportunity to elevate the player to the active roster during the season.
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