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Scots American football star David Ojabo picked by Baltimore Ravens in NFL draft

© Rebecca Blackwell/AP/ShutterstockDavid Ojabo
David Ojabo

A young American Football star raised in Aberdeenshire has joined the Baltimore Ravens despite suffering an injury setback.

Linebacker David Ojabo, who moved to Westhill from Nigeria when he was seven years old, was selected by the two-time Super Bowl champions in Friday night’s NFL draft.

Ojabo had been tipped to be among the first picks as the top sides choose young stars from college teams to sign for the upcoming season.

But during a training drill in front of scouts in March, the 21-year-old tore his Achilles and is set for months on the sideline.

He’ll work on rehabilitation with the Ravens with a view to making it to the field by the end of the year.

After being drafted, he said: “It means the world. That’s what I was working towards before the unfortunate injury and to have my family and friends beside me… it’s all part of the story, it’s like a dream.”

The move is likely to make him one of Scotland’s highest earning and most watched sports stars.

Ojabo had not played the sport when he moved to America to go to a New Jersey high school, where he played basketball before being encouraged to give American football a go aged 17.

Before declaring for the draft, the 6ft 4 star played in front of crowds of over 110,000 for the prestigious University of Michigan’s Wolverines team.

He had his parents with him for the draft, after they were flown out from Aberdeen to surprise him.

Ojabo follows in the footsteps of a small number of Scottish players to have played at the top level of American Football.

They include kicker Lawrence Tynes, born in Greenock, who won the Super Bowl twice with the New York Giants in 2007 and 2011, and punter Jamie Gillan, from Inverness, who earned the nickname ‘The Scottish Hammer’ after a recent spell with the Cleveland Browns.

Arbroath kicker Graham Gano has played in the NFL since 2009, and is currently with the Giants.