Each week, we interview a different Rams player to find out about their lives on the field as well as off of it. Team Reporter, Sarina Morales, asks the questions fans want to know, in a fun and conversational interview. This week, linebacker, Obo Okoronkwo, spoke to Sarina about how funny Clay Matthews is, his side music job and being a 245 pound vegetarian.
1: Hi my name is...
Sarina: As someone with a unique name, what do you like about it? Ever want to change it? What does your name make you feel?
Obo: Honestly, I love my name. First of all, its meaning is, favored from God, can't beat it. Then on top of that, my whole life I've never just been stumped in a conversation because my name is such a conversation starter. Like I introduce myself, "Hey, I'm Obo Okoronkwo, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo." People are like, "What?" So I really like my name in that aspect because it always just made me interesting, a lot of people have a lot to ask about it and I have a lot to tell about it. But you can call me Obeezy.
2: Locker room
Sarina: Describe the 2019 locker room this year?
Obo: It was full of a lot of a lot of characters. In a positive way though. Going from guys like JJ. John Johnson is hilarious, there's never a dull moment around JJ. You've got people like that who are on 10 at all times. Then you've got people like Marqui [Christian] who is the exact opposite. You've got to fight him just to get a couple of words out, but when he does speak, you're probably going to be laughing all day because he has a really good sense of humor. Then you've got guys like Jalen [Ramsey] where it's just admirable, he's a super confident guy, you can't tell him nothing about himself he doesn't already know and he's going to let you know that too (laughs). There's guys like that. Then you've got Clay Matthews. If you've never met them in a million years, you wouldn't think they were that funny until you get that one-on-one time with them. You just see what his family sees and that's really cool.
3: Obo Bod
Sarina: Even in the offseason, you worked out pretty crazy today. I know you take good care of your body. When was the first time you were like, "I'm probably stronger than most people"?
Obo: I would say in high school we did max outs. I hadn't really ever lifted before and I had the strongest squatting bench on my high school team.
Sarina: Was it a surprise to you?
Obo: It was more of a surprise to everybody else. For me it was like, "Okay." It didn't really register as something. It wasn't a big deal to me at the time. I think it just made my coaches want to invest in me more, which made me want to invest in myself more because they believed in me, so I was like, "I got to be doing something right."
4: Do you even lift bro?
Sarina: Was there a point where you got bigger? Where you were like, "I have a lot of abs"?
Obo: I would say freshman year of college, that summer I came in at 195 and then I ended the summer like 248. I was like under 10% body fat. I think that was my biggest, that was like I went through an evolution. I had this coach; his name was Coach Schmiddy. I'll never forget him. He definitely pushed me to my limit physically and mentally.
5: But you don't "look" like an NFL player
Sarina: What is the biggest misconception of an NFL body?
Obo: Everybody thinks that we're these chiseled body builder types. But a lot of the time a lot of the guys don't have that traditional body builder look. A lot of guys are very skilled, so they don't have to be super strong or super fast, or they don't have to look like a superhero to be really good at what they do. They're intricate and very detailed in their skills. So that's what makes them so much better than everybody else. It's not because they have these huge calf muscles or something. That was the biggest, "Huh?" When I got to the league. You just see a player, and you wouldn't think he'd be the strongest guy and then after you see him play you'll be like, "Wow. He shown me up." Like I'll be working out with Sebastian [Joseph Day], we'll be doing abs and he's just killing me and I'm just like, "What the heck? This guys like 310 pounds."
6: Cali vibes
Sarina: What's your favorite city?
Obo: I've been to some nice cities, but I have to say San Diego takes the cake. It is beautiful, it's so calm, you get all the nice weather LA gets without all the traffic. Everybody's just so chilled, genuine, nobody's in a rush to go anywhere. Just cool, laid back, and if you know me, you know.
7: I just want to be Successful
Sarina: What is the key to being successful in the NFL?
Obo: Got to find a routine and stay consistent. Find what works for you and don't waver from it. And if it's giving you success, then why stop it? If anything do more. But don't do too much, don't do anything you can't. Find what works for you. Find a guy that you admire, like a pro, like a Clay Matthews or an Aaron Donald. A guy like that who just is programmed to do the right thing, see how they do it. See what they do, see what works for them. It might not be what works for you, but just explore a bunch of different things. Because if I want to be successful, I'm going to ask somebody successful how to be successful. It's not rocket science.
8: Just like music
Sarina: Are you still doing your music?
Obo: Yeah, I just finished a song last night.
Sarina: For people that don't know, you mix music, right?
Obo: Yeah, I make beats, I mix music. Sometimes I might put a little vocals on the track if I like the beat too much and I don't want to give it away, I might keep it for myself. That's not really my forte, I just like making the beats and just placing everything and I think I just have a good knack for that. I started in high school. That's what I originally thought I was going to be doing. That's what I was doing on the side with skateboarding. I didn't really start playing football until about junior year of high school.
9: Repeat it
Sarina: What song do you listen to on repeat that you're just like ... "Man, I have listened to this 1,000 times." Are you a repeat guy?
Obo: I would say Neon Guts by Lil Uzi Vert and Pharrell. That's just a happy song. I have a lot of songs that really say who I am, but I'm just going to go with this happy song that when my day is sunny, put my windows down [in my car], ride around with my arm hanging out.
10: No cheating
Sarina: And then lastly, what's your cheat meal?
Obo: (Shakes his head no)
Sarina: You're like, "I don't even crave that anymore." What are you eating every day?
Obo: I don't. If I eat a burger or something, I get sick. I'm not eating meat.
Sarina: You're vegetarian?
Obo: Right now, yeah. And I'm still 245 pounds…
Sarina: Six two, nine percent body fat, 245, lot of muscles and you don't need meat in your diet.
Obo: Not for right now. When the season picks up then I'll definitely be back. But I just feel good, a lot of energy. My body feels really clean. I feel like energized when I wake up, yeah. I'm loving it.
Sarina: When did you decide to start this diet?
Obo: My church was doing it during fasting and I was like, "I can get into that." It's more like a self-discipline thing. But I was like, "Let me see what it does to my body."