Arizona Cardinals sign Nigerian OL Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi
Apr 19, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:22 pm
(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Arizona Cardinals signed offensive lineman Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.
Ndubuisi, 21, hails from Nigeria and began his football career in 2017 after he was noticed by American coaches during an all-star basketball game in Lagos.
Never stop dreaming. Never stop hoping. Never stop believing. Haggai signs with the @AZCardinals and becomes the 2nd player to go from Nigeria to the @NFL in the past week. This is unbelievable #Uprise @NFLAfrica #IPP pic.twitter.com/EcO6yHERD8
— OSI (@OsiUmenyiora) April 19, 2022
The 6-foot-9, 290-pound lineman was originally selected as part of the NFL’s International Pathway Program back in January before signing on with the Cardinals.
With Austrian tight end Bernhard Seikovits receiving an IPP exemption, Ndubuisi is a normal addition to the 90-man offseason roster.
Ndubuisi grew up playing both basketball and soccer before joining the Uprise Academy, which is a football program in Nigeria ran by 11-year NFL vet Osi Umenyiora and ex-NBA player Ejike Ugboaja.
“There’s obviously something about Nigerian people that when you come over here and you see them, these just natural, big, strong, athletic people that are built to play American football,” Umenyiora told NFL Network last December. “If you’re looking for talent, you’re going to find them right here.”
During his time with the academy, Ndubuisi played both right and left tackle.
Ndubuisi joins an offensive line room that includes starters Rodney Hudson, D.J. Humphries, Justin Pugh and Kelvin Beachum.
It’s the latest addition to the room following the team’s signing of Will Hernandez this past March.
Hernandez is expected to compete for the team’s starting right guard spot this offseason.