NFL: Former discus star Lawrence Okoye glad to be home after 'crazy' year
Croydon-born Lawrence Okoye admits he has enjoyed a "crazy" year as he returns to the UK with the San Francisco 49ers
Last Updated: 22/10/13 8:45am
Croydon-born Okoye swapped athletics for American Football earlier this year and was signed by the 49ers in April after impressing at the Regional Combine only to suffer a knee injury in pre-season, which ruled him out of the entire campaign.
However, he is back in England with his new team ahead of San Francisco's clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley on Sunday in the second of the International Series games.
"It's great to be back home," he told Sky Sports News. "I'm excited for the whole team to be here. Everyone is enjoying their stay in London and hopefully we'll have a successful week and beat the Jaguars on Sunday.
"Life has changed massively over the last year - that seems to happen to me quite a bit - but it's just great to be here and I'm enjoying learning my trade and looking forward to contributing in the future.
"It's crazy being where I am compared to where I was. I'm just enjoying the journey and looking forward to showing what I can do when I get this game down. I'm learning everyday in the film room, in meetings and understanding the concepts of this game so that when I take the field again I'll be ready to contribute.
"The injury is annoying, but it's all good because this year is all about learning and developing and next year is showing what I can do.
"I've got the best guy in the league in Justin Smith to learn from every day."
The 49ers are 5-2 heading into Sunday's game having slipped up against the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts.
"The NFL is tough. Every team is capable of beating every other team. They were games we could have won but that's the nature of the league. We've come back strong and we're looking to get the win over the Jaguars.
"Wembley is an historic stadium and I'd hope for everyone to be educated about that before we get to the game. Every kid that plays sport in this country wants to play on that stage so it's an honour for everybody here. I just look forward to the day when I can come back and play myself."