Brian Ndubisi Orakpo, born on July 31, 1986, in Houston, Texas, was an outside linebacker at the University of Texas. He played college football for the Texas Longhorns from 2004 to 2008 and had an impressive career. In his senior year, Orakpo won multiple awards, including the Lombardi Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the best defensive player. He was also recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American. Orakpo recorded 132 tackles, 22 sacks, 38 tackles for loss, and numerous other accomplishments during his college career.
After his successful college career, Orakpo entered the 2009 NFL Draft and was selected by the Washington Redskins as the thirteenth overall pick. He quickly made an impact in the NFL and was named the starting strongside linebacker for the Redskins in his rookie year. Orakpo had an outstanding debut season, recording 50 tackles, 11 sacks, and two pass deflections. He was named to the Pro Bowl and became the first Redskins' rookie to achieve this honor since 1978. Orakpo continued to excel in subsequent seasons, earning Pro Bowl selections in four of his ten seasons in the NFL.
In 2015, Orakpo signed with the Tennessee Titans and played for them until his retirement in 2018. He was named a defensive captain for the Titans and displayed his talent and leadership on the field. Orakpo accumulated impressive statistics throughout his career, including 423 tackles, 66 sacks, 31 passes defended, and 12 forced fumbles. He was known for his strong presence on the field and was considered one of the premier defensive players in the league.
Off the field, Orakpo was involved in various endorsement deals, including one with Geico. He also ventured into entrepreneurship, opening a franchise of Gigi's Cupcakes with his teammate Michael Griffin. Orakpo's dedication to the game and his achievements and contributions solidified his status as one of the most talented and respected linebackers in the NFL.
We’re always happy to pay tribute to the giants of the past whose shoulders we proudly stand on. With a tradition of recognizing and honoring the accomplishments of the brightest and best from our industry, we are happy to present the past winners below. If you’d like more information, feel free to get in touch.