Meet Jeff Okudah Father, Sam Okudah

This article was last updated by on

An outstanding Ohio State alum & NFL player Jeff Okudah grew up seeing his sick mother, diagnosed with lymphoma, who died in 2017. Okudah’s mother is survived by his sister Karen and his father, Sam Okudah.

In the athlete’s struggle amid his mom’s loss, his father Sam would be there for him. Today’s article is about Jeff Okudah’s father, who inspired him to pursue a sports career.

And his father’s dream to witness his son’s success has come true. Jeff currently plays as a cornerback on the NFL team Detroit Lions- the 2022-23 season being his 3rd NFL season from the four-year contract.

“At the end of hardship comes happiness” seems a match in Okudah’s life.

Jeff Okudah, An NFL Player (Son Of Sam Okudah)
Jeff Okudah, An NFL Player (Son Of Sam Okudah) (Source: Detroit Jock City)

Jeffery has fought through challenges in life and succeeded in getting this far. He has been contentedly fulfilling his dream while remembering his late mother.

But also his father’ supportive hands became a guide & inspirer to NFL prominence.

Let’s explore Sam Okudah (father of Jeff Okudah)- his family, relationship & quick facts.

Jeff Okudah Father | Quick Facts

Full Name Sam Okudah
Birth Date N/A
Birth Place Nigeria
Religion Christian
Nationality American
Ethnicity African
Education N/A
Horoscope N/A
Father’s Name N/A
Mother’s Name N/A
Siblings N/A
Marital Status Married
Wife Marie Okudah (late)
Children Jeff Okudah and Karen Okudah
Social Media (Of Son Jeff Okudah) Instagram, Twitter
Merch (Of Son Jeff Okudah) Bobblehead, Signed Helmet 
Last Update May 2024

Jeff Okudah’s Father, Sam Okudah | Wife, Kids & Family Details!

Sam Okudah, a proud father of an NFL player, was born in Nigeria & comes from an African heritage. He later immigrated to the United States with his now-late wife, Marie Okudah.

Further insight into Sam’s background is not out.

He & Marie settled in Parsippany, New Jersey (considered their second home after Nigeria) & became parents of two children: Karen (b. 1997) and Jeff Okudah (b. February 2, 1999).

Young jeff with his sister, Karen and mother, Marie
Young Jeff Okudah With His Sister, Karen, And mother, Marie (Source: The Players Tribune)

Jeff’s father initially signed him up for soccer, but he preferred to play American football (touch football). His passion for football and hard effort have got him this far to realize his ambition.

Even after his mother’s objection, Jeff Okudah started playing football for Parsippany Red Hawks by age 7. On the contrary, his father, Sam, would stand with him on his decision.

While the future NFL star attended college, he and his sister Karen lost their mother to lymphoma after a decade-long battle.

Wife Marie Okudah Died Of Lymphoma

Sam Okudah and his now-late wife, Marie Okudah, were married for decades before she died of lymphoma on January 14, 2017.

The news of Marie’s death came a week after Jeff Okudah committed his collegiate career to Ohio State Buckeyes, i.e. on January 7, 2017.

When Jeff and his older sister Karen were toddlers, their mother, a nurse, was diagnosed with lymphoma (cancer).

Despite receiving chemo treatment, she continued to care for her two children and fulfill her motherly duties.


Even though Jeff and Karen, who were so close to their mother, could only see the physical scars chemotherapy had left on their mother’s body, she still went to work with a clear head.

Jeff still misses and thinks about his powerful mother, Marie, even if she is only a memory to him.

In early January 2017, the Players Tribune posted a heartfelt letter of the future NFL prospect Jeff to his mother, Marie.

What Does Sam Okudah Do?

Sam Okudah, the father of Jeff Okudah, had an IT job. In 2010, when he was laid off from his job, he relocated his kids & wife Maire to Texas.

Further information on his current job is not out. But as reported, after his son Jeff signed with Detriot Lions, Sam considered moving to the Detroit area to be close to his son.

Sam Okudah, The Father Of NFL Player Jeff Okudah
Sam Okudah, The Father Of NFL Player Jeff Okudah (Source: USA Today)

Even though Sam may have his academic details under wraps, he never bargained to provide his kids with good education & sports environment.

His son Jeff attended South Grand Prairie High School and later enrolled at the Ohio State University.

Jeff Okudah Father (Sam Okudah) | Age, Height & Weight

Sam remains low-key about his personal life- he seems to be in his late 50s as of May 2024.

As for his son, Jeff Okudah- the NFL star stands 6 ft 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighs 205 lbs (93 kg).

Okudah has an athletic build with a hand spanning 0.25 m and an arm span of 0.83 m.

Brief On NFL Player Son Jeff Okudah

Okudah, the youngest child of Sam, was born on February 2, 1999, in Parsippany, New Jersey.

Jeff is a five-star prospect who, according to, has received offers from 32 division-I schools. He attended South Grand Prairie High School in Texas, as was previously mentioned.

Jeff enrolled at Ohio State University on January 8, 2017, after graduating from high school. He had no idea that he would have to face the shattering news of the death of his beloved mother so soon.

He played in all 14 games as a freshman in 2017 and recorded 17 tackles. Similarly to his sophomore season, Jeff played in 13 games.

Furthermore, his junior season was memorable because he recorded his career-first interception against the Miami Red Hawks. In the same year, he also had 34 tackles and nine passes.

Jeff Okudah On The Field Playing Football
Jeff Okudah On The Field Playing Football (Source: Instagram)

Okudah was also named as a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, and later, he decided to forego his senior year by declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft.

He was drafted by the Detroit Lions and signed a four-year rookie deal with the organization on July 13, 2020. His first season was cut short due to injury.

He returned in the second week and played against the Green Bay Packers, and the next week he had his first career interception off a ball thrown by the Arizona Cardinals.

Moreover, Jeff had surgery on December 15, 2020, for a core muscle ailment, and he later sustained an Achilles tendon injury and was placed on injured reserve.

What About Daughter Karen Okudah?

Karen is the oldest born Okudah, Jeff’s sister, and Marie and Sam’s daughter.

She recalled her mother’s chemotherapy & diagnosis of lymphoma. Karen told when she was in kindergarten, her mother was receiving cancer treatment and was unable to pick her up for school.

Karen said that she didn’t understand what her mother was going through and simply believed she was ill. She revealed that her mother was delighted Jeff would finally be going to college, and now she could happily leave the world.

Moreover, she was part of the track and field program for Parsippany recreation.

Jeff Okudah Father | Net worth & Salary

As no information on Jeff’s father, Sam Okudah, is accessible, neither his work profession nor his financial worth.

But we can talk about Jeff Okudah’s salary and income as an American football cornerback. Additionally, Jeff has been making a respectable income from his football career, which allows him to live a comfortable lifestyle.

Jeff’s net worth is uncertain; however, it is assumed to be $5 million.

Jeff Okudah With His Ca
Jeff Okudah With His Car (

He also inked a contract with the Detroit Tigers for $33.528 million, including a $21.944 million signing bonus. This athlete now has a basic salary of $600,000 but will soon earn much more.

He also has a property and a Mercedes Benz in Dallas, Texas. We are confident that Jeff will achieve more in his life and live happily for his late mother.

Jeff Okudah Father | Social Media 

Sam Okudah is not active on any social networking network. Jeff Okudah, on the other hand, does.

Jeff may be found on social media sites, including Twitter and Instagram. He interacts with his supporters primarily on Twitter.

In addition, Jeff has 263k Instagram followers. His Instagram feed is entirely comprised of football-related posts.

Speaking of his Twitter handles, Jeff joined the platform in 2011 and now has 119.5K followers. Most of the time, he seems to choose Twitter over Instagram.

Jeff Okudah | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How and When did Jeff's mother die?

On January 14, 2017, Jeff's mother passed away from lymphoma cancer just as he was beginning his undergraduate career at Ohio State University.

What is the jersey number of Jeff Okudah?

Jeff Okudah, a cornerback with the Detroit Tigers, wears jersey number one.


Kriti Karki
Kriti Karki

Kriti Karki

Kriti Karki is a passionate writer with a talent for bringing the excitement and drama of athletic competition to life through her writing. Her articles offer readers a front-row seat to the action-packed world of sports, providing insightful analysis and captivating storytelling.


Game Analysis Player Profiles


  • Kriti offers readers a detailed analysis of the games, players, and key moments.
  • She offers readers a glimpse into players backgrounds, achievements, and personal journeys.


Kriti's passion for sports journalism is fueled by a lifelong love of competition and a fascination with the stories that unfold on and off the field. With a background in writing and a keen eye for detail, she brings a unique perspective to her articles, capturing the drama, excitement, and emotion of sports with depth and insight.

Related articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share article

Latest News