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Texans sign Okoye

HOUSTON -- Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the youngest player
taken in the first round since the AFL merger in 1967, signed with
the Houston Texans and was on the field for the first day of
training camp Friday.

Okoye, who was 19 on draft day and turned 20 last month, agreed
to a six-year deal. Terms were not released.

"It was good," Okoye said. "I want to be out here with my
teammates. I want to be out here the very first day and start this
thing off right."

Okoye, the 10th pick in the draft, stressed to his agents that
he didn't want to miss any time, but said he got a bit concerned as
the start of camp approached.

"With things like that, you can't sit there and say you weren't
worried," he said. "I was worried. I knew they knew that I wanted
to get it done before the time came around."

The 6-foot-1, 300-pound Okoye joins a defense that includes last
year's No. 1 pick, Mario Williams, and the NFL Defensive Rookie of
the Year in linebacker DeMeco Ryans.

Among Okoye's many goals is back-to-back defensive rookies of
the year for the Texans, who are trying to improve on their No. 27
ranking in sacks last season.

"The most important thing is to get the Defensive Rookie of the
Year," he said. "Keep it over here in Houston."

Okoye is undaunted by being the youngest in any situation. He
started high school at age 12 and college at 16.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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