49ers defensive lineman Lawrence Okoye told England’s Short List magazine that football is the hardest thing he’s ever done.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I’m under no illusions,” said Okoye, via the Sacramento Bee.
49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio says Okoye is in for somewhat of a surprise once training camp rolls around and they start hitting.
“He hasn’t had anybody hit him yet,” Fangio said. “He hasn’t had a double-team yet. He hasn’t figured out if it’s a run or pass, whether he should rush or play the run. So it’ll probably be a very slow process with him much more than a normal rookie.”
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh did admit Okoye looks more like an offensive lineman.
“We pretty quickly moved him to defensive lineman and let him start learning the game there,” Harbaugh said. “But he does have an offensive lineman body.”
“Still, Okoye’s awesome blend of size and speed are what drew the 49ers to him in the first place. And Okoye said he’s working on refining those elements. “I’m far more explosive now, so I’m covering short distances very quickly,” he told Short List. “For example, I have run a 1.64-second 10-yard dash, which is much more important both for discus and NFL.”