Aberdonian who stands on verge of incredible £15million NFL deal wants to inspire young Scots

Aberdonian David Ojabo has told of his quest to inspire young Scots as he stands on the brink of a £15 million start in the NFL.

The star linebacker has just announced he is entering the “ draft ” that matches the best young players with pro teams.

He is expected to be an elite first round pick, possibly in the top ten – and his first year contract alone could easily be £15 million.

David’s recent matches in college football for the Michigan Wolverines have played out in front of crowds of more than 100,000 adoring fans, with another 17 million watching on TV.

But despite the big time and big bucks looming, the pass rusher in the world’s biggest paying team sport has made it clear that a major driving force has been the desire to inspire young Scots to chase their dreams.

David in action for the Michigan Wolverines v the Maryland Terrapins

David told the Record: “If I had a message for young people like me back in Scotland I’d say they should follow their own dream and they can make it come true.

“If anyone back home takes inspiration from me then that’s great. All you need is a lot of self belief and hard work.”

David’s original dream was to be a pro basketball player – after starring for Scotland as a teenager.

But he never made the grade at high school and ended up begging for a chance with his high school American football squad, despite not even knowing the rules.

He said: “Even three years ago I honestly didn’t know a thing about football but it’s funny the way things turn out.

“It’s a big weight off my mind now that I’m heading for the draft but I still have a lot of work to do.”

David spent his first seven years in Port Harcourt, Nigeria then relocated with his family to Scotland, as oilman dad Victor’s job with Shell took him to Aberdeen.

David left the granite city on his own at 15 to head to a boarding school in New Jersey, while his family stayed at home.

After his basketball bombed he learned his trade as a linebacker, bulking himself up in the gym in three whirlwind years, making him one of the hottest prospects in the sport.

David firmly regards Scotland as home and often tells US interviewers about his love for the hills and glens around Aberdeen.

He said: “I can’t explain it but the wild countryside and the beautiful landscape just makes the place peaceful and special and it’s where my heart is.”

Young David doesn’t look too happy – but he has a love for rolling Scottish hills

David’s dad, Victor, and mum Ngor, a lawyer, have recently returned from a two week holiday in the States where they watched their boy steal the limelight in massive matches as the college season reached a crescendo.

Ngor said: “I normally think of David as a mum would because I do worry a lot about him getting hurt.

“He has to do all these tackles with really big, powerful guys – all the biggest guys on the field. I normally don’t even like to watch because he’s still my boy and I just get scared. I didn’t want him to be a footballer to be honest.

“But when Victor and I get inside the stadium with all the fans and everyone cheering I’m able to watch him closely and enjoy seeing him do so well.

David at Dunnottar Castle with friends Tyler and Sage Handin, whom he met at the Aberdeen International School and whom he often stays with in Houston, Texas.

“He has worked so hard to get where he is and it’s very exciting to see all the good things that are being said and written about him.

“He doesn’t know what team will come in for him in the draft but he will be happy to go anywhere and we are really excited to find out where he will be living and playing next.”

She added: “It is a very competitive sport and we know the rewards are very high. They have a week in April when the drafted players go through their paces and get watched very closely by coaches.

“David is focused on getting up as high in the draft as he can. He is very focused on that.”

David with parents Victor and Ngor

Ngor said her son usually comes home around Christmas but opted this time to stay in the States. Last year he came home and got stuck in Aberdeen during lockdown for three months because of covid.

She said: “He loves coming home because he really does identify Scotland as his home. He was only seven when he left Nigeria, so all his really formative memories are here and this is where the family is.

“He always says that he will be coming back to live in Aberdeen at some point. I guess he will have some big adventures to attend to before then.”

David’s mum admitted that the sums of money he can earn on the NFL are colossal.

She said: “It could be a massive amount of money but David already has good people advising him and he is a very mature person for his age.

“He was confident enough to go the America on his own at the age of 15 and he already has plans for how he might invest his money.

“He always involves Victor and I in his decisions and he won’t let the money affect his focus on the job.”

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