For one Michigan football player, his long international nightmare is over.
David Ojabo is a redshirt freshman defensive end for the Wolverines. Born in Nigeria, Ojabo and his family moved to Aberdeen, Scotland, in 2007. Ojabo, though, attended high school in New Jersey before signing with Michigan football in 2019. When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, Ojabo returned to his family in Scotland.
The problem? Because of the travel ban, Ojabo had not been able to fly back to the United State and rejoin the Wolverines for voluntary on-campus workouts. Expected to be gone for just a couple of weeks, Ojabo had been stuck in neutral for nearly four months. The keyword there is had as, as of early this past week, Ojabo was back on U.S. soil.
So, how did that happen? From the Detroit Free Press:
But last Thursday, the Department of State announced that select classes of international students from certain European countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, could now travel to the United States.
Saturday, Ojabo began his long journey back to Ann Arbor. He flew into London, then Miami, before finally arriving in Detroit, where he was greeted by defensive end Luiji Vilain. His flights were near empty, with most travelers having an entire row to themselves, and Ojabo said he wore a mask at all times.
“That little hashtag that blew up got a lot of the right people involved,” Ojabo told the Free Press. “I just got in contact with a lot of people and so did, from my understanding, coach (Jim) Harbaugh. They helped figure it out and brought me back. I don’t know all the details, but what matters most is I’m back.
“They lifted it miraculously. It was also a blessing to get help from coach Harbaugh and various alumni.”
Because he is coming from an international destination, Ojabo was forced to self-quarantine upon his arrival in Ann Arbor. He’ll be forced to remain there until Aug. 2. The Free Press reports Ojabo “believes he must take a COVID-19 test before rejoining the team.”
Michigan began the next phase of its potential return to a college football season Friday. Based on all of the data available, Ojabo should be able to rejoin his teammates sometime early this coming week.
Ojabo was a three-star 2019 signee. He did not play as a true freshman and took a redshirt.