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Manchester-born NFL hopeful awaits decision

Manchester-born Menelik Watson was a newcomer to American football just two years ago, but has since earned serious pedigree in the sport.

  • A move to the NFL will complete a dramatic turnaround for the 24-year-old, who saw his hopes of making a living playing the British brand of football end with a nasty ankle injury in his teens
  • Watson also tried his hand at basketball and boxing, before a scout spotted the potential for him to use his powerful 6ft 6in and 22-stone frame in American football in 2011.
  • The experience was an instant success and after excelling in his single season at Florida State University, Watson has been deemed ready to embark on a highly-lucrative professional career.

Olympian among Brits pursuing American sporting dream

Olympic discus thrower Lawrence Okoye has never played American Football before, but is remarkably among three Britons who could turn professional by joining an NFL team.

Great Britain's Lawrence Okoye saw his medal hopes dashed in front of his home crowd last summer
Great Britain's Lawrence Okoye saw his medal hopes dashed in front of his home crowd last summer Credit: Press Association

The Londoner, who finished 12th in the men's discus final at London 2012, has reinvented himself over the past year as a potential pick for a team in the National Football League Draft, which is now underway.

The annual selection process in New York sees the 32 NFL teams take it in turns to select the new wave of non-professional players in a series of rounds.

At 6ft 6in and 21-stone, Okoye recently impressed scouts at tryouts in Texas who believe he could adapt his strength, speed and core discus skills to enjoy a career in their sport.

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