Rookie Raider ready to make an impact - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Rookie Raider ready to make an impact

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Obi Melifonwu (AP) Obi Melifonwu (AP)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Raiders rookie Obi Melifonwu has started to make people believe he’ll be an impact player this season.

As a college player at Connecticut, Melifonwu didn’t have the national name recognition that players from powerhouse football schools had. But he turned heads at the NFL Combine and put up gaudy numbers that quickly gained attention.

This season, he has to translate that into NFL skills, and he said he has already noticed the difference.

“I think the biggest difference is everything a little quicker,” he said. “Receivers that break, the balls there a little quicker. Just the pace of the game is a little faster.”

He said he's spending the spring bouncing back and forth between the Raiders facility and home, with a simple focus.

“(I need to) just really stay in shape, condition, really be in the playbook, ask questions and do whatever I can to take the next step as a football player and being a professional,” Melifonwu said.

His journey was different.  Born in London to Nigerian parents, Obi Melifonwu’s first name is actually Henry William.  His middle name is Obiajulu and he’s gone by Obi most of his life.

He started playing football at age nine and is ready to live out his dream as a Raider.

“It means the world to me to be a Raider,” he said. “These fans are incredible. This organization with the history, and I really like the color silver and black so it's honestly a blessing to be a part of this organization.”

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