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Jayson Oweh To Go By First Name ‘Odafe’ In NFL

Newly minted Baltimore Raven Odafe Jayson Oweh is already shaking things up in the NFL.

The former Penn State football defensive end announced Thursday night he’ll go by his true first name, “Odafe,” now that he’s in the NFL. He said he’s been going by his middle name, Jayson, for most of his football career due to help others with pronunciation, but those days are over.

“People were having trouble pronouncing ‘Odafe,’ so I went to Jayson in my early years,” Oweh told Baltimore reporters after the draft. “I don’t care anymore. You’re going to have to learn how to pronounce it.”

Although Oweh was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, his parents are both from Nigeria, according to Press Box. His father, Henry, was born in Nigeria and his mother, Tania, moved there at a young age. Both of Oweh’s parents graduated from Harvard, from which he received a scholarship offer before committing to Penn State.

Much of the Oweh family still live in Africa, so Odafe still has strong ties to his heritage.

“There’s so much talent over there,” Oweh told Press Box. “There [are] so many hidden gems, and I was given this opportunity, and I want to just showcase that [and] be able to give everyone in Nigeria the opportunity.”

Oweh will join other players of Nigerian descent in the NFL like Nelson Agholor, Prince Tega Wanogho, and Emmanuel Ogbah. According to Penn State Athletics, Oweh wants to help build roads and bridges in Nigeria later in life and even considered majoring in civil engineering.


Editor’s note: From this point forward, we’ll refer to Oweh as “Odafe Oweh,” and you should, too. This is objectively cool as hell.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a senior business and journalism major from "Philadelphia" and is Onward State's social media manager. He writes about a lot of things, including football and hoops. If you want to gain absolutely nothing, you can follow him on Twitter @rjparsons9. Say hi via email at [email protected]

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