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Browns' Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Refutes Rumors About Heart Issues

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2021

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 28: Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (6) during the second half of the Camping World Bowl between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Iowa State Cyclones on December 28, 2019, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cleveland Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah said Tuesday there weren't any "heart issues at all" during his medical check before the 2021 NFL draft.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday the Notre Dame standout had a "heart issue that came up late in the process," which is why he slid out of the draft's first round. Owusu-Koramoah was asked about that report during an appearance on The Jim Rome Show (via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com):

"You get news. You get a lot of news within the draft and the process you're going through. There was something that came up in terms of what guys were saying, but in terms of me, in terms of the personal aspect there were no really heart issues at all. There was nothing that was too ticked off and we went back to Notre Dame and looked at the medical records and everything.

"I never really had any heart issues or anything going on there. You know, you hear a lot of things, but you've got to get it from the source."

Two NFL sources told Cabot they've never heard anything about a heart issue for the 21-year-old Virginia native, and a talent evaluator confirmed his team still had a first-round grade on the linebacker heading into the draft.

"We had him very high on our board," he said. "We had a first-round grade on him. This kid is a tremendous player, especially where they got him."

Another source told Cabot they'd heard about a potential issue during the medical check, but their team's reason for not drafting him rested more on his size (6'1Β½'', 221 lbs).

Owusu-Koramoah was highly productive across his final two seasons at Notre Dame. He recorded 142 total tackles, seven sacks, seven passes defended, five forced fumbles and an interception across 25 appearances between 2019 and 2020.

He didn't play in any games as a freshman and missed most of the 2018 season with a foot injury.

The 2020 ACC Defensive Player of the Year was projected to come off the board somewhere in the mid- to late first round, but the Browns got him in the second round at No. 52 overall.

"I am very familiar with the Browns," Owusu-Koramoah said. "I was watching throughout the season last year. Believe it or not, I was actually picturing myself in this scheme as I was watching them play last year sitting down with one of my coaches from Notre Dame."

The Butkus Award winner should have an opportunity to compete for an immediate starting job at weak-side linebacker for Cleveland. If he earns the spot, his wide-ranging playmaking ability could make him a strong contender for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

While the definitive reason for his slide remains unclear, he could end up providing the Browns with immense bang for the buck as they try to push toward the franchise's first Super Bowl title after reaching the divisional round of the playoffs last season.