The Dallas Cowboys newest signing, Efe Obada, may not have the fastest 40-yard dash time of the team’s tight ends — but he definitely has the most inspiring story. The 22-year old was forcibly taken from his mother at age 10 and trafficked to London, England, where his abductor simply left him and his sister alone on the streets.
— NFL (@nfl) April 1, 2015
But now, with only five games of what the British call “American Football” on his resumé, Obada has a shot at playing for the storied “America’s Team,” the Cowboys, when he arrives in Dallas for the organization’s rookie camp in May.
“This is a dream,” the 6’6″ 225-pounder told the site NFLUK.com. “It’s amazing and life-changing. It’s a major turning point in my life and feels like a movie. This could be it — I can change my life. This is unreal — this doesn’t happen to people like me. I’ve never even been outside of London since I arrived in the U.K.”
By his own account, Obada’s upbringing was as tough as they come. After being abandoned homeless on the streets before he was even a teenager, he drifted into a life of gangs and crime — a move that came from sheer hopelessness — straightening himself out only after three of his friends were killed.
“It made me angry. I developed a lot of anger,” Obada said of the cruelty he endured as a child. “It made me a negative and pessimistic person. I didn’t really believe in myself and because I never had that family stability it led me to turn to friends in the area and that led me into gangs and running with the wrong people.”
Working as a security guard at a warehouse and taking college business courses, Obada — whose size and atheleticism are obviously impressive — was taken by a friend to try out for the London Warriors, a team in the British Association of American Football.
He played only five games for the Warriors last season, helping his team win BritBowl XX against crosstown rival the London Blitz. But that was enough for his defensive coordinator, Aden Durde, who had worked for the Cowboys as a coaching intern.
Despite the above tweet from the NFL, Obada is not quite a Cowboy yet. He still has to make the team — in competition with players who have far more experience. But he runs a 4.67 40-yard dash, on par with the best pro prospects at his position.
He will most likely aim at a place on the Cowboys’ practice squad, where he can hone his skills against pro players without seeing actual game action.
Here is a video of Obada in action. He’s the defensive player in the black jersey seen blocking a pass.
Efe Obada blows by the OT showing decent technique for a guy in his 4th game ever. Tips the screen pass pic.twitter.com/ueJIqwILdp — Nick C (@NickCRSEN) April 1, 2015
Even though he has played tight end, Efe Obada expects to play on defense when he joins the Dallas Cowboys camp next month, in pursuit of his dream.
[Image: Dallas Cowboys]