49ers rookie minicamp: Lawrence Okoye at his first practice

Jason O. Watson

The San Francisco 49ers held their first practice with rookie Lawrence Okoye. We look at what it means for the young British athlete.

The caption that came with the picture above was this:

SANTA CLARA, CA - MAY 10: Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula of the San Francisco 49ers (left) instructs Lawrence Okoye #78 (center) on blocking techniques during the San Francisco 49ers rookie minicamp at their training facility on May 10, 2013 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

I reference the caption because the 49ers welcomed Lawrence Okoye to rookie minicamp on Friday, and the trip up the learning curve has truly begun. Every rookie faces a learning curve, but Okoye's is significantly steeper than virtually any rookie in the NFL. It sounds like Okoye was tossed right in from the get-go. Quinton Dial sat out practice with a toe injury, and with Tank Carradine also out, Okoye got most of the reps at defensive end.

It sounds like he was pretty tired by the end, but he got his first opportunity to show his stuff. He spoke with the media during the day, and re-emphasized that he will make mistakes and learn from them. When asked about why he chose the 49ers, he provided a reason that makes perfect sense:

I think it's because of Jim Tomsula. His background coaching guys in NFL Europe who have minimal experience playing the game was a big contributing factor for me. He made me realize if these other guys can do, there's no reason I can't do it. I believe in my ability.

This really is an ideal opportunity for the young Brit. He is learning plenty (he referred to the football field as the "pitch" before correcting himself), and it will be a day-by-day process.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Niners Nation

You must be a member of Niners Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Niners Nation. You should read them.

Join Niners Nation

You must be a member of Niners Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Niners Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker