SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Lawrence Okoye was one of the last players to leave the "pitch" Friday afternoon — one of several things that set the big Brit apart from other newcomers at the San Francisco 49ers' rookie minicamp.
Okoye is the only rookie there who never has played a snap of organized football. He's the only one who has competed in the Olympics as a discus thrower.
And he's the only one speaking with a heavy British accent — twice referring to the practice field as a pitch, a term his knows from the rugby fields of his youth in England.
As he grew to 6-foot-6, 304 pounds, Okoye moved from rugby to track and field at age 18 and two years later set a British record with a discus throw of 68.24 meters.
Now he's trying to make it in the NFL with the 49ers as a gridiron novice.