“With the 65th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns and the Dawg Pound select Larry Ogunjobi.” Those words muttered by former Brown’s wide receiver Josh Cribbs created history at UNC Charlotte Friday night, as Ogunjobi is now the first Charlotte football player to be selected in the NFL Draft.
“It hasn’t really hit me, yet. A bunch of mixed emotions,” said Ogunjobi in a statement. “It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing to be the first and to come out here and do what so many people said you couldn’t do. You see all my friends and my family around me. They’re a part of me. They’re the reason why I’m here. All the guys that helped me to reach this point. It’s crazy how it all happened. (I wear) No. 65 to be drafted as the 65th pick, the story just keeps getting better and I’m excited to see how it continues.”
After starting the 49er football program from scratch in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 305 pound defensive tackle from Greensboro, North Carolina marked plenty of firsts and set a plethora of records but this will definitely be the one that Niner Nation and the people that surround him will remember the most.
“We’re just really excited for Larry being taken in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns,” said head coach Brad Lambert. “He’ll bring a great work ethic to the Browns, just as he did here. He’s been a great representative of our university and continues to elevate our program. He worked extremely hard in pursuit of his goals and I know he’ll continue to work extremely hard at the next level. We could not be prouder of all that he has achieved and the type of player and person he has become.”
Ogunjobi leaves Charlotte as the 49ers all-time leader in tackles (217), tackles for loss (TFL) (49.0), sacks (13) and QB hurries (33). He became the first Charlotte player to participate in the NFL Combine, as long with being the first 49er to participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Ogunjobi is the lone 49er to start all 46 games in program history, holding other records such as single-season leader in TFL (14.5, 2015) and sacks (5.0, 2014). The defensive tackle also was the first player to wear the honorary No.49 jersey in Charlotte’s Inaugural game against Campbell in 2013.
The Greensboro native joins the No.1 overall pick Myles Garrett and 25th pick Jabrill Peppers as the only other defensive players taken by the Cleveland Browns through the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. The Browns also drafted TE David Njoku with the 29th pick and grabbed QB DeShone Kizer from Notre Dame with their first pick in Round 2.