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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, steve.virgen@latimes.com

Later, Ozougwu said he received a text from his agent that the Texans wanted to pick him. Then Rick Smith, the Texans general manager, called with the good news.

When he was selected, Ozougwu said he thought that everything happens for a reason and that he had envisioned playing for the Texans before. He met and worked with the Texans new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips when he was coaching for the East-West Shrine Game.

Phillips is transitioning the Texans to a 3-4 defense. Ozougwu was pegged as an undersized defensive end by scouts. He might fit into the Texans scheme as an outside linebacker. They might be able to use the help, even coming from Mr. Irrelevant.

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The Texans defense appeared irrelevant in the NFL in 2010. They were ranked last against the pass and 30th overall on their way to a 6-10 year, even though they had an elite offense.

Ozougwu said he's excited to go to work when he can. He had not heard all about the hoopla that comes with being Mr. Irrelevant. A trip to Disneyland, an interview on the set of the NFL Network studio in Los Angeles and a tour in a Goodyear blimp were among the highlights for last year's Mr. Irrelevant, Tim Toone of the Detroit Lions.

And, of course there's always the Lowsman Trophy banquet, when Mr. Irrelevant is presented the statuette of a player fumbling a football. Ozougwu will also be roasted during the event.

He laughed when he heard about that.

"They're going to have a field day with me," he said. "I'm looking forward to that."

Irrelevant Week has also been famous, or infamous, for its parties that have gone deep into the night. Ozougwu said he's not concerned about that.

"I definitely can enjoy myself," he said. "It's all good. Just because I'm Christian doesn't mean I can't have fun."

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