FRAMINGHAM – A former Framingham Youth Football player has signed with the New England Patriots.
The Patriots signed safety Henry William Obiajulu Melifonwu, known as Obi, today, Nov. 5.
Obiajulu means consoled heart in Igbo, a language in Nigeria.
Obi Melifonwu, 24, was drafted by the Raiders in 2017, but was waived with an injury in August 2018.
Born in England, his family moved to America when he was 3.
He played six years with the Framingham Youth Football (FYFC) program.
“Thrilled to see Obi sign with the Patriots. He was an outstanding athlete for Framingham Youth Football for 6 years,” said Coach Jason Smith. He “was a key player of mine when we won the Super Bowl in 2004.”
Smith said Melifonwu was a “great teammate, that worked hard both on and off the field.”
He played defensive back, quarterback, and running back at Grafton High School, where he scored 17 touchdowns and rushed for almost 1,400 yards as a senior.
He played college football at UConn, As a redshirt freshman he made 70 tackles and had 2 interceptions in 12 games. He made 75 tackles in 11 games sophomore year, and 88 tackles in 12 games his junior year. His senior year, he recorded 118 tackles and had four interceptions, starting all 13 games.
The Oakland Raiders drafted him in the second round in 2017, the 56th pick overall. He was placed on injured reserve in September 2017, and again in December 2017. In August 2018, the Raiders waived him.
Photo courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Guide