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Cincinnati Bengals take Texas' Joseph Ossai in third round of NFL Draft

Texas linebacker Joseph Ossai sacks LSU quarterback Joe Burrow on Sept. 7, 2019, in Austin.

Big 12 quarterbacks can rest easy, Joseph Ossai is heading to the AFC North.

Cincinnati grabbed Ossai in the third round of the NFL draft on Friday. The edge rusher from Texas was selected with the 69th overall pick.

Ossai admittedly didn't know much about football when he moved to the United States from Nigeria in 2009. He previously told the American-Statesman that he thought the sport was rugby with padding. Still, he eventually developed into a four-star recruit at Conroe Oak Ridge.

As a sophomore, Ossai earned a starting linebacker job and led Texas in tackles. Four of his team-high five sacks that season came against two quarterbacks — LSU's Joe Burrow and Utah's Tyler Huntley — who are currently in the NFL. In that year's Alamo Bowl, Texas had Ossai play off the defensive line and he responded with a three-sack performance.

Used as a linebacker-defensive end hybrid in 2020, the 6-4, 256-pound Ossai led Texas in sacks (five), forced fumbles (three) and tackles for a loss (16). Since he only played in nine games, his average of 1.8 stops behind the line of scrimmage was the most for a Longhorn since Cory Redding in 2002.

Joseph Ossai's Hook'em highlight

Ossai sealed an overtime win at No. 6 Oklahoma State this past Halloween with a fourth-down sack. En route to registering his third sack and 12th tackle of the day, Ossai got around Teven Jenkins, who was a second-round pick by Chicago this week, and ran down Cowboy quarterback Spencer Sanders.