Hallelujah Ozougwu

Mr. Irrelevant

Defensive end says he has his prayers answered when he became the 36th Mr. Irrelevant.

April 30, 2011|By Steve Virgen,
(Anthony Vasser/Rice…)

Cheta Ozougwu said he spent a lot of time praying during the 2011 NFL Draft. A devout Christian, the 22-year-old said he believed God's will would be done. Ozougwu, a 6-foot-2, 247-pound defensive end out of Rice University, believed he would be picked.

If anyone tries to tease him now, he can use a bible verse for where he was taken as the Houston Texans made him the 254th and dead last pick in the draft.

A part of Mark 10:31 reads, "The last will be first."

"I like that," Ozougwu said with a laugh.

Ozougwu (pronounced oh-zoo-goo), who pronounces his first name "Cheddah," became Mr. Irrelevant XXXVI Saturday when Irrelevant Week Founder Paul Salata announced his name at the podium at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The newest Mr. Irrelevant said it was fulfilling to be picked and that he doesn't mind having the new nickname. He's also excited to stay in Houston, where he was born and raised.


"I'm happy to have [the Mr. Irrelevant nickname]," said Ozougwu, who will be honored and roasted during Irrelevant Week in Newport Beach and other parts of Orange County June 20-24. "It's by no means anything negative. A lot of people would want to be in this situation. I'm very fortunate to be in this situation. I'm embracing it."

Ozougwu's first full name is Chetachi. It's a Nigerian name, which means, "remember God." He's never forgotten the man upstairs throughout his life. Ozougwu said he's been a Christian all is life and that he rededicated his faith three years ago.

While he's been learning the game of football, he's also been teaching others about his religion. He can relate to the concept of Irrelevant Week, which is, "doing something nice for someone for no reason."

Ozougwu was one of 12 student-athletes who received the Conference USA Fall Spirit of Service award for his work in the community.

Among his efforts, Ozougwu was a mentor at Good Hope Baptist Church.

"I'm really big on giving back, working with kids and helping others who are not as fortunate as I am," Ozougwu said during a telephone interview shortly after becoming Mr. Irrelevant. "I had an amazing opportunity to work with the church and help kids who came from rough backgrounds. It was just great to put a smile on their face and to tell them about Jesus. Whatever I can do to give back."

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