Gambia gets first (NFL) pro


The son of an immigrant from The Gambia, Barrow weathered the storm to play at Louisiana State. Lamin, parents Ali and Saidah and his three siblings were displaced from their home just outside New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina when he was beginning his high school football season in 2005. They were forced to move to Alexandria.

Ultimately, Lamin has realised his dream of playing in the NFL. But he won’t be able to wear his No. 18 jersey. That number is taken by Peyton Manning.

Before Lamin’s senior season, his teammates voted that he be given “18” — the jersey number awarded to the Bayou Bengals’ leader of highest character. The tradition began after the 2003 season, when quarterback Matt Mauck wore the number while guiding LSU to the national championship.


Mauck, oddly enough, was drafted in the seventh round by the Broncos in 2004. He made the team, but never played a game in Denver.

Lamin’s career here should last longer. John Elway said the 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker, who impressed the Broncos at the Senior Bowl, could play outside or inside. They can use a middle linebacker.

Give the Broncos’ draft a B-plus, given that they were picking so late and traded away their fourth-round choice. They got a quality cornerback, a wide receiver, two offensive linemen and two linebackers.



By Lamin Cham