LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah helps set the tone for the Browns when he steps out onto the field. Be it during the opening kickoff or the first possession of the opponent team, he has managed to make significant plays that energizes both the crowd and his team.
"Jeremiah did a really good job on that opening kickoff of the 49ers game," DC Jim Schwartz said. "And our defense has a lot of similarities between kickoff coverage. We're sort of attacking in waves and playing off the guys in front of you and things like that. I think those things fit Jeremiah. He's been consistent this year. There are little things that we can iron out that can get him even better. But I like what we're seeing with him so far."
Owusu-Koramoah has been playing well through the first five games this season. He has 26 total tackles and a sack. The key stat has been his eight tackles for losses, compared to last season, where he had seven in eleven games.
Whenever Owusu-Koramoah makes a play that forces opposing offenses to go backward, his teammates get hyped with him and are eager to make a play next.
The third-year linebacker on the field looks different than he did a year ago. He cut his mini afro off and went to a dark Caesar cut. He changed his number from 28 to six.
He came into training camp always smiling, cracking jokes and letting people know he is vegan. In preseason, Owusu-Koramoah let it be known on the field he meant business this year. On the first play against the Commanders, Owusu-Koramoah tackled RB Brian Robinson Jr. for a loss of two. On the following play, he forced the Commanders to punt when he tackled RB Antonio Gibson behind the first down marker.
It's translated into the regular season as well. One of Owusu-Koramoah's best moments this season occurred against the 49ers in Week 6. The Browns offense turned the ball over in the second quarter, which allowed the 49ers to start with a short field from Cleveland's 26-yard line. The 49ers attempted a short pass to RB Christian McCaffrey, but Owusu-Koramoah quickly reacted and dropped the running back for an eight-yard loss. Later, the 49ers missed a field goal attempt, allowing the Browns to avoid a two-score deficit.
"Honestly, my coaches and teammates make my job easier," Owusu-Koramoah said. "My success this season is because of the people around me. I just go out there and try to make every play possible to help us win."
When he returns home from football, he prays with his loved ones. Owusu-Koramoah expresses gratitude towards his spiritual community elders, parents and ancestors mentioned in the Quran for molding him into the man he is today. During the off-season, he sought their emotional advice and guidance.
"Everything you see in me is a product of those who come before me," Owusu-Koramoah said. "Everything you see me talk about or do on the field is filled with the capacity of those who taught me. It's not all about me. It's about them, too."
Despite being born in the United States, Owusu-Koramoah is a spiritual person who is also of Ghanaian descent. He tries to embody his ancestors every day. Before the Browns played the Bengals in Week 1, he arrived at Cleveland Browns Stadium in a Kente cloth.
He has participated in several public speaking events this season, including one at the reveal of The Ali Summit Civil Rights Trail marker on Sept. 9. At this event, he was part of a panel that discussed the historic meeting on June 4, 1967, held at the headquarters of the Negro Industrial and Economic Union. The meeting involved Mouhammed Ali, Jim Brown and other legendary figures and is considered an essential event in the civil rights movement.
After football season ends, Owusu-Koramoah plans to fulfill any community requests to improve it for the future.
"It's all about creating alternatives," Owusu-Koramoah said. "Whatever I do, the communities I'm a part of, I am going to provide more sustainable resources."