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Former Ohio State Club Football Player Praise Olatoke Signed By Los Angeles Chargers

By June 14, 2024 (4:28 pm)Football

Former Ohio State club football player Praise Olatoke earned the opportunity to live out his dream on Friday when he was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers to play wide receiver.

Olatoke, who also ran track and field for Ohio State from 2021-22 earning first-team All-Big ten honors during the 2022 outdoor track and field season, found a home in Los Angeles by participating in the NFL’s International Pathway Program, which grants opportunities for international athletes coming from many different sports backgrounds to earn a spot on an NFL roster. 

As part of the program, Olatoke, who was born in Nigeria and raised in Scotland, practiced at IMG Academy this spring and also participated in Ohio State’s Pro Day held at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center in March. 

Olatoke earned the role due to his talents at receiver and blazing speed, which he displayed while with the Buckeyes’ national championship-winning club team in 2022. He caught seven passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns in his lone season with the club, while he is also known to have run a 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds. 

“I know physically, I can do it,” Olatoke told Eleven Warriors in March. “I’m tall enough, fast enough, I’ve got the right makeup. So just marrying those two together gives me confidence that I can do what I say I want to do.” 

Olatoke, who stands at 6-2 and 205 pounds, will now look to make the 53-man roster of a Los Angeles team that is led by former Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Justin Herbert. 

The former Buckeye does have an avenue to make the team, as the Chargers lost their two leading receivers from last season, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, during the offseason. But even if Olatoke does not make the 53-man, the Chargers can keep him as a 17th member of their practice squad which is designated by the NFL for international players. 

“For years now, I’ve been imagining myself throwing on a helmet and catching touchdowns and making plays and all that stuff,” Olatoke told Eleven Warriors when asked what it would be like to make an NFL roster. “So it would be like my imagination coming into fruition.”

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