Maryland football graduate defensive lineman Sam Okuayinonu has announced on Instagram that he will begin preparing for the 2022 NFL Draft.
Okuayinonu was a big factor on Maryland’s defense during the 2021 season, finishing near the top of the roster in total tackles with 55. He also had 36 solo tackles and a team-high six sacks to help round out the Terps’ defensive efforts en route to a 7-6 overall record and a victory over Virginia Tech in the Pinstripe Bowl.
He was named as a 2021 Third Team All-Big Ten selection.
The 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive lineman also led the program in tackles for loss in 2021 with 8.5 and he had one quarterback hit through 13 games. His most notable games this season came against Illinois and Minnesota. Against the Fighting Illini, Okuayinonu tallied six tackles and two sacks. And then in the matchup with Minnesota, he had a season-high nine tackles.
Okuayinonu was a former three-star recruit and began his career with the Maryland program as a junior in 2019 when he appeared in 11 of 12 games. After a fairly quiet senior season, he came back for a redshirt senior campaign in 2021 and made the most out of it under head coach Michael Locksley.
He’s just the second Terp to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft as tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo also has his sights set on the NFL Draft.