Titans TE Chig Okonkwo Thankful for the Opportunity to Play the Game He Loves

NASHVILLE – Chig Okonkwo got his first taste of football at the age of 7, and he was hooked.

Even though his first position was hardly a glamorous one.

“Right tackle,” the Titans tight end said with a smile. “I was a pretty big kid, so I got put on the line. But the second year I got to play running back, and then receiver. From the very beginning, though, I loved football. It’s one thing I was always 100 percent positive that I wanted to do in my life.”

From those early days on the Pop Warner fields outside Powder Springs, Ga., to his prep days at Hillgrove (Ga.) High School to eventually his college years at the University of Maryland, Okonkwo’s love for the game grew even deeper.

Then it was taken away, and that changed his perspective forever.

Halfway through his rookie season, Okonkwo looked back at one of the most difficult times of his young life – when he had to step away from the game in 2020 because of a medical condition – and said the experience made him even more thankful for his opportunity in the NFL, in Tennessee, with the Titans.

“When all that happened, I didn’t really know if I was going to get another chance to play again,” Okonkwo said. “Being told that you can’t play anymore, it’s like, damn. But I always kept the faith, and always kept believing.


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