The fact that the New York Jets drafted him hasn’t quite sunk in yet for former Xaverian lineman Oday Aboushi.
“I’m still shocked by it,” the Bay Ridge native said the day after being selected. “But, I’m shocked in an exciting way.”
Gang Green took the Virginia University offensive tackle in the fifth round of the National Football League draft last week making him the 141st overall pick. Aboushi, who worked out for the Jets, Giants, and Rams, had a good feeling when he saw the Jets pick come up on the screen. Being selected by a hometown club made the moment even more special. He said his phone started going crazy after his name was called.
“Being a hometown kid, my family can come watch me play,” said Aboushi, who now lives on Staten Island. “It’s about 30 minutes from my house.”
Former Xaverian coach Joe DeSiena, now an assistant at Lincoln, said he saw something special in Aboushi right away. At 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, he had the “God-given ability” combined with a tremendous work ethic. He was a team captain every year at Xaverian, as well as his senior year at Virginia.
“It’s no surprise that with that ability he was going to take it as far as he did,” DeSiena said. “He’s a leader.”
Aboushi’s commitment to hard work comes from his family of nine brothers and sisters and a strong mother. “His success is as attributable to the type of man he was raised to be as it is to his physical ability,” DeSiena said.
He was a four-year starter at Virginia and first team all-conference selection for the Cavaliers last season. It means a lot for him to finally get his family into the pros. Oday’s brother, Ayman, who played defensive tackle at Xaverian and Fordham, also had a shot at the pros, but it was cut short by a torn pectoral muscle during a work out with the Bills.
“For me to break through and actually go through it and get drafted is huge,” Aboushi said. “It’s exciting for my family. They have been there every step of the way.”
He will join a crowded group of offensive lineman that includes third-round pick Brian Winter of Kent State and Pittsburgh Steelers free agent Willie Colon, who played at Cardinal Hayes in the Bronx. “I think I’ll fit in great,” Aboushi said. “I’ll play any position [offensive line] coach [Mike] Devlin needs me to play, and do my best at it and put in as much work as possible.”
The Jets also signed former Fort Hamilton wide receiver KJ Stroud to a free-agent deal.
Reach reporter Joseph Staszewski at [email protected]. Follow him on twitter @cng_staszewski.