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Basil Chijioke Okoye Joins Chargers Through International Pathway Program

IPP photo

The Chargers have added a defensive lineman to their roster as part of NFL's International Player Pathway Program (IPP).

Defensive lineman Basil Chijioke Okoye, who goes by 'CJ' and hails from Nigeria, was allocated to the Bolts after a random draw that involved each team from the AFC West and NFC North.

Okoye, a 6-foot-6, 315-pound defensive lineman, participated in the NFL International Combine last season and also was able to showcase his talents in front of NFL scouts at the University of South Florida's Pro Day prior to the 2023 NFL Draft.

The 21-year-old Okoye was one of eight players that were added to NFL rosters for the 2023 season, the most in a single year since the IPP was established in 2017.

Okoye was told about his allocation via Zoom call. When he was told that he would join an NFL team this season, Okoye's excitement could be felt with one word.

"Yes!" Okeye exclaimed with a celebratory fist pump.

Okoye was overcome with emotion, as members of NFL International Football Development congratulated him for the result of his work.

"Thank you," a tearful Okoye said. "You don't know how much this means to me and my family.

"Thank you very much. Thank you I appreciate it," Okoye added.

Okoye will now join the Chargers and will get a chance to compete in training camp.

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