Ex-racer Samuel Oram-Jones is hoping for success in the NFL draft

Munich – When Samuel Oram-Jones was little, there was only one dream for him: to become a Formula 1 driver.

And the British were well on their way there. During his time in karting, he was teammates with Max Verstappen and George Russell. He raced against Ferrari star and World Championship leader Charles Leclerc, McLaren driver Lando Norris and Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll.

Twice he was able to celebrate winning the Lewis Hamilton True Grit Award – combined with valuable racing tips from the seven-time world champion. Oram-Jones worked in the simulator for Red Bull and was part of McLaren’s Young Driver Program. The best conditions for starting a great motorsport career.

Verstappen and Russell used to be teammates

“The last time I rode a go-kart, I finished second in a race in Spain. Fifth was George Russell and he’s in Formula One now. There are some guys that I’m on the same team with and while driving on the same roof. I were as good as them, and now they do different things, “he explained in an interview with” Mirror, “adding that Leclerc only beat him by two-tenths.

For a great Formula 1 career, it was not enough for the Briton. So he had to concentrate on his schooling. “The decision was made for me,” said the athlete, “it was not really taken by me, but I was going to university, and I did. To be able to work in the family business later, I needed a certain amount of training.”

Instead of joining the Formula 1 circus at one point, the program for the 20-year-old was crammed. “It was a great shame for me at the time. I had been playing sports all my life, and every day was about racing until the day it was not.”

Coincidentally, with American football

He had to fill the gap caused by the lack of running elsewhere at Durham University in England and did so by signing up for an American football test. Of course, he had no idea that this would open a new door in his life.

“I went to the rehearsals at random, for no particular reason. I thought I did not know the rules, I never played it, but these guys seem cool, why not.” The right position for the Speedster was quickly found: backflip.

A decision that paid off. Two American running backs saw potential in him and encouraged him. Already in his second year, he and his team became British champions and contributed with the decisive touchdown in the final.

And while the two sports may not seem to have anything in common at first glance, Oram-Jones was quick to find some. “There are definitely similarities in my mindset, especially in football. I just try to get from A to B as fast as possible and dodge anything that gets in my way,” the runback said.

And further: “In a way, the perception of depth and the perception of objects moving around you are very similar in racing and American football. Mainly because I have a helmet on and am in my room. From one point to Going to others, knowing where to be and getting as fast as possible – it’s the same as in motorsport. “

Tips from Titans coach Vrabel

After his championship success in England, he moved to the United States a little later. He attended a Pro Football Hall of Fame International Camp and captured the interest of Division 2 collegiate teams. As a result, he wrote emails to coaches from all the colleges – but did not get a single response.

Nevertheless, the British enrolled in a master’s degree in financial mathematics at Vanderbilt University. However, he did not accept the cancellation of the local football team. He even attended the Tennessee Titans preseason just to see how an NFL team prepares.

The running back even jumped over a fence to talk to head coach Mike Vrabel. “I was just trying to introduce myself. I told him I’m British champions, that I think I’m the best that Britain has to offer at my position, and asked him how I got on from that. my point can come from where his boys are. “

The head coach of the Titans then gave the bold young man well-meaning advice. He said Oram-Jones should get film footage from college and talk to the Vanderbilt head coach.

Coaches would break Oram-Jones

He even got hold of a trial lesson with him. “There were about 15 coaches present and only me, and they put me through so much that day. Every route, every exercise, twice in a row, without a break. Later in the year, I found out from the coaches that they just tried to make me break so I leave her alone. “

They did not crack the strong-willed ex-race driver, but he did not get a place on the team either. Instead, he was allowed to join the team as a scout team player. His task: play through the upcoming opponent’s game plan to prepare the starting lineup.

For many weeks he waited in vain for a task before injuries to some players brought him on the field. He was even named player of the week several times towards the end of the season.

Training with Frank Gore

Then came the next cut. Because he would not have been secured a spot on the team the following year, he enrolled in another graduate program at USC. But a broken leg during training week in the opening match ended his freshman plans.

Giving up was and is out of the question for the British. Although he did not get much playing time as a result, he was recognized with the USC Scout Team Player of the Year Award on offense. He performed in front of tens of thousands of fans at the famous Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – an unforgettable experience.

“I’ve fought my way through injuries, I’ve had to fight my way through things you would never expect from a single player. The team is grateful, I always want to be part of the team now.”

The Briton was also able to rely on the support of a legendary running back. He was mentored by Frank Gore, third on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. “Frank Gore really took me under his wings so I was really lucky. He thinks I’m a good player, he thinks I can play,” the athlete said.

Last year, while Gore was preparing for the Jets, Omar-Jones trained with the NFL legend several times a week.

Hoping for the NFL draft

The 20-year-old is now eagerly awaiting days two and three of the NFL Draft. Although the fugitive is realistic and knows that the odds of his name being called are small, he still hopes.

And if that doesn’t work out, there’s a USC Pro Day left and the opportunity to join a team as an exhausted player. “My goal is just to get my foot in the door. A lot of people say, ‘If that doesn’t work, what are you going to do then? But I’m not giving up. The NFL is my goal.’

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