By George Buksmann
Former London Warriors defensive end Efe Obada has made the Carolina Panthers final 53-man roster.
The news comes as all 32 NFL teams must cut down their roster size from a maximum of 90 in pre-season to 53 by 9pm today, meaning that over 1,000 players will lose their jobs.
The 26-year-old appeared in five games for the Warriors in 2014, following recommendations from now Falcons quality control coach Aden Durde Obada signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, but subsequently bounced from the Chiefs to the Falcons before making the Panthers roster today.
Here’s an inspiring one: Panthers DE Efe Obada made the 53.
Born in Nigeria, moved to Netherlands, trafficked to the UK, where he was homeless for several yrs. Starting playing FB at 22 and came to NFL through international pathway program.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) September 1, 2018
Obada’s journey to the NFL has not been a conventional one, in 2017 he joined the NFL’s new International Player Pathway Program which granted the four NFC South teams an additional spot on their practice squad, however, as part of the program players cannot join the active roster during their initial season.
DE Efe Obada made the 53-man roster. He’s the first International Pathway player to do so. When asked how it felt, he just laughed for a good five seconds.
“It’s amazing. I know it’s just the beginning, but for me to get here… it’s just amazing.” pic.twitter.com/m4oSnqe9Cf
— Max Henson (@PanthersMax) September 1, 2018
In 2017 Obada featured in the series NFL Undiscovered, alongside fellow Brits Alex Gray and Alex Jenkins, he is the first pathway program player to make an NFL roster.
Good luck this season Efe!