"I'm talking football with Jon Gruden, and he says 'Hey man, are you from planet Earth?' " said Okudah, who is expected to be the first cornerback selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. "It's crazy to think about that because he's someone who's been around some great football minds. For him to say that, I was like (to myself) 'You're here, man.' "
Okudah indeed has arrived.
The Texas native was named a consensus All-American for his final season at OSU, helping lead the Buckeyes to a College Football Playoff berth with three interceptions and seven pass breakups. He has excellent size for the position at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, and has drawn comparisons to Arizona Cardinals eight-time Pro Bowl selectee Patrick Peterson. In fact, Okudah said he has a whiteboard in the apartment he resided in during combine training that had the combine results of both Peterson and Los Angeles Rams CB Jalen Ramsey written on it, as a means of motivation. NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah ranks Okudah the No. 4 overall player available.
But while Okudah's test results at the combine are expected to be stellar, he did have something of a hiccup when it came to his hand measurements.
"I jammed my finger in high school, dislocated it, really. So I tried to tell the (measurement) guy, 'Do my left hand, because my right hand had a dislocated finger a long time ago,' " Okudah said. "He made me do both and when I got up there, he's like 'pinky deformation.' Y'all can say it's deformed, but I feel like it's just got a little love on it. It's part of the game. I love all my fingers the same."
As will the team that drafts him.