Rocky’s World: Kehinde Oginni Hassan’s Long Road to Kansas City

Kansas City Chiefs Unformulated Free Agent Kehinde Oginni Hassan – or “Kenny DnexT.O.” As he refers to himself in his book workout videos – He dreamed of being the next Terrell Owens.

Depending on where you look online, the Oginni is listed as a wide receiver, tight end or defensive end.

Although Chiefs initially announced his signature as a tight end, Since then, they have listed it as a defensive end. The original listing was probably just a mistake. The chiefs assigned him the jersey number 67, which was dedicated to the men of the offensive and defensive line. Additional evidence of this can be found at NFL News’s The “Undiscovered” series is about Eugenie and his fellow international track players. In the second episode (which aired on April 25), they listed him as a defensive line man.

The birth of Kenny DnexT.O.

Oginni was born in Abakaliki, Nigeria – 6,611 miles from Kansas City.

But the road that led Oginni to Arrowhead Stadium was much longer. It is a story that spans three continents and is full of joy and pain.

Abakaliki City with Azugwu Hill in the background, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
Photo by: Liberty22 via Wikipedia

Until 2014, Oginni was a basketball player who had never stepped on a football field. But when a friend saw how far his body was on the field, he suggested he try his hand at soccer. Standing 6ft 7, Oginni originally thought he was too thin to play football.

Things changed when he was 15 years old. Oginni received an invitation to attend a sports camp sponsored by Ejike Ugboaja Foundation. It took the eight-hour bus ride from Eugenie’s home to the Nigerian capital, Abuja, but the exposure to the match – and the chance to be watched by the American coaches – was a treat. An opportunity he couldn’t miss.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this is a great opportunity for me to go out there and learn more about the game,'” Kehinde explains.

While at camp, the coaching staff convinced Eugenie to try his hand at soccer.

It was love from the start.

Its size and length made it a mismatch in the wide receiver. He knew right away that football was his future.

“I just don’t play this game.” Oginni once said in one of his YouTube videos, “I was made for this…God made me play football.”

The camp ended on June 10, 2014. Eugenie and his teammates boarded their bus and waved goodbye to their coaches. But on the trip home, tragedy struck. The bus had a car accident in which three of his teammates were killed – seriously injuring him.

He spent the next two months in the hospital. This event had a profound effect on him. While some might use it as a reason to quit, Oginni used it as a motivator and motivation.

And I said my God, thank you for saving me. Thank you for saving my dream. I know you hold me for a purpose. And I promised myself I would never give up. [I am] Not giving up on the dream, [because] In the June 10 incident, that’s the only thing I can do to please the lost souls of my fellow comrades. I think I will make them happy for the rest of my life because I will not give up.”

Oginni spent his spare time running trails, training and coaching with his local football team at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria.

ABU Titans was organized in 2009 Coached by its founder: former Nigerian rugby player Amadee Chukwuemeka. There has never been an American football team in Nigeria – or for that matter, anywhere in West Africa. Without any opponents playing, the team trained quietly on campus for seven years, waiting for the day they would play their first match.

“Immediately, I got some kids together and started taking care of them,” Chukwuemeka said. We were doing all these activities silently. For the past seven years, we’ve been teaching our chosen kids the basics of the game.”

Oginni’s First Game: Kenny DnexT.O. explode

In 2014 – around the time Oginni was discovering the game – another Nigerian football team was born in Lagos, more than 500 miles away. In the Lagos Marines – under German coach Dominic Muller – the Giants finally found their match. But given the distance between the teams — and the time it took to get the Marines off the ground — the two teams won’t meet until March 5, 2016.

The ABU Titans won the opening game 26-14. Oginni had six receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

warning: The music in the video contains explicit lyrics.

From then until now

In the years since, Oginni has continued to train with the ABU Titans, regularly posting workout videos to YouTube.

In this Giants photo – taken a few months after the victory over the Marines – Oginni is far left.

One of the main reasons Oginni posted his training online was that he hoped to gain the attention of a university program in the United States.

His plan worked. It has attracted the attention of many college programs in the United States. But due to the irregularity in sport in Nigeria – and the high cost associated with obtaining a visa – his applications to play in America have been rejected on multiple occasions.

For many players, this would have been enough for them to give up. But not save me – because unless you forget…

“I don’t just play this game. I was created for this… God made me play football.”

Undeterred, Oginni continued to work with the ABU Titans and posted videos of himself hunting with one hand.

Then last year – after seven years of relative obscurity – opportunity came knocking on Oginni’s door. former New York Giants Defensive end Osei Omniora (also of Nigerian descent) arrives in Abuja, proclaiming that Set up camp and take exams For the NFL International Player Track Program.

Founded in 2017, the program aims to provide elite international athletes with the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a place on the NFL roster. “

Of all the participants, Umenyiora was selecting only three players to move on to the next stage: training in London in the hope that they could showcase their talents to NFL scouts and earn a place on the roster.

On the last day of camp, Omneura called Eugenie to tell him the good news: he was going to move to London.

For six months, Oginni and his IPP peers trained and studied, preparing for their chance to impress NFL scouts.

Then in March, Eugenie got his shot. He and fellow IPP participants traveled to Arizona The university participates in the Professional Day.

The chiefs liked what they saw, and signed Oginni as an undrafted free agent shortly after the draft.

What’s next for Eugenie?

Based on his measurable elements alone, Oginni is an intriguing prospect.

Standing 6-foot-7, ran a 4.8-second 40-yard dash on Pro Day – faster than both Tyreke Smith and Kingsley Engabare who ran in the NFL.

Even with these pluses, Oginni is the tallest in the long shots making Kansas City’s 53-man list. The first thing he faces is that he has never played a defensive role before. As a potential future, he was raw – but as an arrogant, he would need to build from the ground up. And at 225 pounds, it’s also too skinny to play on the edge. He would need at least 40 if he wanted to play in the NFL.

At best, I think the chiefs will try to develop him by hiding him in their coaching staff this year.

But Omneura chose Eugenie for a reason. And remember: There is a connection between Omniora and Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnolo, who was his defensive coordinator when he played for the Giants. Ominiora may have given Spagnuolo an upside down about Oginni’s potential and asked the Chiefs to sign him.

One thing is for sure: I will not count on Oginni.

He crossed the world to fulfill his dream – and to fulfill a promise he made to his lost colleagues.

To quote the man himself… He was created for this.

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