Lions have a new running back in former safety Godwin Igwebuike

Godwin Igwebuike #35 of the Seattle Dragons (Photo by Jenny Buchanan/XFL via Getty Images)
Godwin Igwebuike #35 of the Seattle Dragons (Photo by Jenny Buchanan/XFL via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions‘ depth chart at running back has expanded by one as the team prepares to kick off training camp practices at Allen Park this week. But the Lions will not to have sign someone new in order to add another player to their roster.

According to Chris Burke of The Athletic, the Lions have opted to move safety Godwin Igwebuike to running back. It’s a position the former Northwestern defensive star is quite familiar with.

As a senior at Pickerington North high school in 2012, Igwebuike rushed for 1,985 yards and 29 touchdowns. A two-way player, he also recorded 79 total tackles, forced two fumbles, and had five interceptions on defense, including a pick-six according to

In 2012, Igwebuike was a finalist for Ohio’s Mr. Football Award, selected as the Collegiate Sports of America PrepStar Player of the Year for Central Ohio, named AP first-team All-Ohio, and All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year by the Columbus Dispatch.

Electing to play safety at Northwestern, Igwebuike would be a defensive stud for the Wildcats as a three-year starter. He’d eventually become a team captain as a senior in 2017, racking up 78 total tackles, eight pass deflections, and two interceptions in 13 games.

According to draft analyst Lance Zierlein, the fearless Igwebuike possessed the demeanor, intelligence, and physical traits that might allow him to become an eventual starter in the NFL. Zierlein predicted that he’d be as high as a third to fourth-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, NFL teams didn’t feel the same and Igwebuike went undrafted. He’d eventually sign as an undrafted rookie free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over the past three seasons, Igwebuike has bounced between five different NFL teams and even had a stint in the XFL with the Seattle Dragons.

The Lions signed Igwebuike to a reserve/futures contract in January. He’s played in six total games over his short NFL career, registering two tackles.

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The soon-to-be 27-year old Godwin Igwebuike now joins a running back depth chart in Detroit that already features D’Andre Swift, Jamaal Williams, Jermar Jefferson, Dedrick Mills, Michael Warren II, and fullback Jason Cabinda. While Igwebuike is likely nothing more than a camp body, it’s just another interesting storyline to monitor as Lions’ training camp kicks off.