McTelvin “Sosa” Agim’s journey hasn’t been an easy one.
The former University of Arkansas player, who attended Hope High School, had a troubled childhood that landed him in a juvenile detention center. His cousin was also murdered while he was at Arkansas. Even with the adversity, Agim’s football prowess and potential has shown through.
He was a highly recruited defensive lineman who bounced between end and tackle for the Hogs as a four-year starter. While Agim’s personal life seemed to stabilize in Fayetteville, the football side wasn’t so pleasant. He went through a tumultuous time with the firing of former Coach Bret Bielema and somehow things got even worse when Chad Morris took over. Agim only won four games his final two seasons.
I always thought the 6-foot-2, 300-pounder underachieved. He led Arkansas in sacks in 2019 but only totaled 9.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss combined his final two seasons. It seemed like he was only scratching the surface of his potential. What I don’t think I gave enough credence to was just how bad the coaching and chemistry was with the defensive unit. Maybe it was a miracle that he put up the stats he did. He didn’t have much help or support.
Agim did something right, as he was invited to the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. It was during that time that he impressed the Denver Broncos. The Broncos selected Agim in the third round (95th pick overall) of the NFL Draft last week, surprising some experts and maybe even Agim.
“Just being able to hear John Elway, somebody I’ve been able to watch all of those times on NFL Network,” Agim told the media last Friday. “Just watching him go and win games, watching the Super Bowl wins he has and watching the picks he’s been picking – just to be one of those picks, it means so much to me because I feel like he believes in me, and that’s something I greatly appreciate.”
Agim was genuinely touched, and why wouldn’t he be? He got a big break, something he couldn’t find at Arkansas. He was drafted higher than anticipated by a good organization that has veteran defensive players such as Von Miller on its roster that can help bring him along. There will be little pressure, and after a solid draft, the Broncos look to be building back to the success that is customary in the Mile High City. That’s lot to be happy and thankful for.
“He’ll start off just being one of there, and we will see how he develops and where exactly he could fit in,” Denver Coach Vic Fangio told the media last Friday. “He’s a guy that needs developing. He’s not a complete player at this point, obviously. But we do like some of the tools that he has and the potential that he has. Hopefully, we can develop him into being a guy that can compete to make our team, and if he does, contribute.”
Denver wouldn’t have drafted Agim that high if they didn’t think he could land on the roster. Agim knows that he will have to work to earn the spot. It won’t be given to him. But that’s where his hard knocks past will help him to be focused and not deterred by the challenge of excelling at the next level.
“I feel like what I have to improve on the most is just being more consistent, because I have done everything, but I need to be able to make sure I can do it on a consistent basis,” Agim said.
If Agim is able to do that, he will have a long NFL career – something that didn’t seem that possible before the Broncos bought in to his potential.
Image courtesy of University of Arkansas Athletics Department