Relentless work ethic, lofty goals drive Browns DL Larry Ogunjobi

After the Browns' first rookie minicamp practice, Larry Ogunjobi remained on the field while the majority of his teammates retreated to the locker room.

The Browns third-round pick hung back with Myles Garrett, Cleveland's top overall selection, and worked on a variety of pass-rushing moves. This kind of moment, Ogunjobi's college coach said, is something Browns fans should get accustomed to.

"I'd have to run him off the field," UNC-Charlotte coach Brad Lambert said. "I'd say, 'Larry, will you get out of here. Will you please hurry up so we can get out of here?' He's a football junkie."

After five years with Ogunjobi -- the first being a dormant year as Charlotte launched its football program -- Lambert got used to it. And he wouldn't have it any other way, as he considers the Browns' newest defensive tackle to be a pioneer of sorts for the 49ers program as its first-ever draft pick.

"You can't talk about Larry enough. He meant so much to us," Lambert said. "He came to Charlotte when we didn't have anything. We didn't have a stadium. We just had a dream of playing football. He believed in us and took a risk on us and was just a fabulous representative of the university on the field and off the field.

"He had high goals in the classroom and on the field and really has obtained all of them. It's really a testament of his hard work."

The Cleveland Browns draft Larry Ogunjobi at No. 65 in the 2017 NFL Draft.

That hard work, of course, kicked into overdrive when Ogunjobi, then 400 pounds, ditched video games, signed up with a personal trainer and joined his high school's football team as a sophomore. He never relented, even when Lambert advised him to slow down and take a load off.

The video Ogunjobi posted days before the draft, which shows him pumping iron at 1 a.m., proves it will take a little more than some friendly advice to slow him down.

"I didn't understand the term over-train because I was just so used to working so hard," Ogunjobi said. "I realized that sometimes you have to work smarter, not harder. Right now, your body is a business, and you have to see over your body. The things that you do on and off of the field are what is going to correlate to the field. I made sure I understood that there is a balance. As hard as you work, you have to rest the same way. You have to have the same recovery methods. That is what I have learned, is that you have to balance that out."

When asked to compare Ogunjobi to a current NFL player, Lambert strays away from the defensive line. He thinks more of players who impact the overall team, and he goes directly to Luke Kuechly, the Carolina Panthers' Pro Bowl linebacker who has been a team captain for years.

"The No. 1 thing you're getting out of Larry is he'll do anything within his power to help the team win. He's such a team guy," Lambert said. "He wanted to work extremely hard at his craft to be excellent on the field so our team could be successful.

"I think the Browns can really expect a guy that will show up and do everything within his power to help the Browns win games. That's who he is. He's a winner through and through."

Ogunjobi can't personally control whether the Browns win at the level they want in 2017. He can just do his part. And to this point in his short football career, that's been good enough to leave a lasting impression.

"There are certain things that you can control, and certain things that you can't. What I control is my attitude and my effort, and that every day I have to come out here and understand that every day is an interview," Ogunjobi said. "What I put on tape is what is going to be used to scale if I can play or not. That is how you build your résumé, not talking and sounding good in front of everybody else, but by actually going out there and making plays."

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