ODU’s Bunmi Rotimi embraces the “underdog” role at the NFL Combine, several Hampton Roads natives improve draft stock

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As top-tier names like Bradley Chubb and Roquan Smith performed like scouts were hoping, prospects that had been flying under the radar made an impression with hundreds of scouts and executives onlooking.

ODU alum Bunmi Rotimi.

Opportunities at the combine are scarce, so every repetition you get, you better make the most of it. For prospects coming out of smaller schools, the margin for error is less than a Power Five school. Former Old Dominion defensive lineman Bunmi Rotimi knew that coming into the weekend.

Rotimi is only the second Monarch to be invited, and participate in the combine, following up on Zach Pascal’s invitation last year. As a former walk-on at ODU, Rotimi worked his way into a scholarship, and would gradually become one of the Monarchs’ best pass rushers.

“Some people like myself you’re angry thats how you start out, but it’s definitely something I’ve learned to embrace,” said Rotimi at the combine. “You feel like you’re being looked down upon, but the guys at Old Dominion, they gave me a chance, you work your way up. I think that’s how I want to be remembered, as the guy who wasn’t the big shot at first but worked his way up.”

Former Virginia defensive lineman Andrew Brown (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Six Hampton Roads natives participated in the workouts this weekend, including three hailing from Oscar Smith. Andrew Brown, Josh Sweat, and Derrick Nnadi all worked out on Sunday with the defensive lineman and edge rushers.

Sweat posted the third best 40-yard dash time for edge rushers at 4.53 seconds. He also posted the best vertical jump at 39.5 inches in his position group.

Norfolk native Jalyn Holmes, an edge rusher who played his college ball at Ohio State, bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times.

Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, regarded as one of the best linebackers the class has to offer, posted a 4.55 40-yard dash.