49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 27, 2013
Discus thrower Okoye lands with 49ers


British discus thrower Lawrence Okoye, who visited the 49ers before the draft, will sign with the team as an undrafted free agent, he announced on Twitter. The 49ers also signed 6-8 offensive tackle Luke Marquardt, who played at Azusa Pacific, according to a league source.

Okoye, 21, turned heads at the super regional combine in Dallas this month with his combination of size -- 6-6, 305 pounds -- and speed. However, he's never played American football in his life and it will be up to defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, who has a background in coaching European players, to teach him his new craft. He will start out as a defensive end for the 49ers.

Asked what he thought of Okoye, Jim Harbaugh said, "Inadequate -- that was my first impression standing next to him." Harbaugh called Okoye "an Adonis, a great physical specimen of a man" and said, "Our creator created a beautiful man."

Harbaugh noted that Okoye didn't start throwing the discus until he was 18, and two years later was in the Olympics. " ... That he's taking on football in this time of his life, I can see this guy doing it."

To read more about Okoye, click here.

The 49ers also have signed:

TE-HB Marqueis Gray, Minnesota (played QB at Minnesota)
G Patrick Omameh, Michigan.
LS Kevin McDermott, UCLA (Scout.com)
OL Sherman Carter, Tennessee State
DT Mike Purcell ,Wyoming
CB Darryl Morris, Texas State
WR, Chuck Jacobs, Utah State
LB, Alex Debniak, Stanford
CB Lowell Rose, Tulsa
RB DJ Harper, Boise State

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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