Rees Odhiambo on his emotional draft-day call from the Seahawks

May 3, 2016, 2:06 PM
Rees Odhiambo moved to the United States from Kenya when he was 7 and had lost both his parents by ...
Rees Odhiambo moved to the United States from Kenya when he was 7 and had lost both his parents by 17. (AP)
LISTEN: Seahawks draft pick OL Rees Odhiambo on his ‘emotional’ call with John Schneider

Rees Odhiambo had a plate of prime rib in his hand and was ready to eat when he heard a phone ring in the other room. The former Boise State offensive lineman was at his college roommates’ home in Bellevue and, seeing as it was only the third round of the NFL draft, he assumed the call was for somebody else.

“I didn’t even think it was me at all, but I was like, ‘I’d better go check to be sure,'” Odhiambo told “Danny, Dave and Moore” Monday. “Then I checked and was like, ‘Oh, no way.’ But it was so loud here I didn’t even hear John Schneider say his name, so the only thing I heard was Seahawks. And was like, ‘Ohhh.'”

Odhiambo said he was “confused” and “a little lost” by Schneider’s call because he wasn’t expecting to be selected so early, assuming he’d fall in the draft because of injuries he’s suffered during his college career. The surprise and emotion is clear from the video of the call posted by the Seahawks.

“I got super excited and I got really emotional all at the same time and I was just overwhelmed, and then kind of took a pause break to catch myself so I could keep talking,” he said.

It’s been a long personal journey for Odhiambo, who was born in Nairobi, Kenya and moved to Texas when he was 7. His father died the year before the move and his mother died when he was 17.

“I just say we had a good support system and a lot of the lessons I learned from my mom just kind of carried over in those times, and through everything she taught me took me a lot further than I ever realized,” he said.

Odhiambo is still relatively new to the game as he didn’t start playing football until his sophomore year of high school.

“I had no plan on playing sports at all but my coach walked by me … and just asked if I wanted to come out and try,” he said. “From there on I struggled a little bit, but things started clicking a little bit later.”

Odhiambo caught on quickly enough to earn a scholarship to Boise State, where he played under current Washington coach Chris Petersen.

“He’s probably the best coach I think I’ve ever had just in terms of how he is as a person and how he approaches every single thing that he did with us,” Odhiambo said.

Odhiambo was a first-team All-Mountain West selection in 2015 despite missing time with a broken ankle. Although Odhiambo played exclusively tackle in college, Schneider told “Brock and Salk” Monday that the third-round pick will play left guard for the Seahawks.

For now, though, Odhiambo is still recovering from the draft.

“It was incredible. I still can’t believe it happened. I’m still trying to get over it,” he said. “But it’s a lot of fun. I’m excited to be here and I’m just like excited to get to work and play football.”

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Rees Odhiambo on his emotional draft-day call from the Seahawks