NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints were looking for an edge rusher to play opposite of veteran defensive end Cam Jordan, and Kenny Vaccaro knew just the man for the job -- his best friend Alex Okafor.
Okafor was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth round in 2013 and became a free agent this off-season.
Vaccaro, the Saints’ fifth-year safety, helped play matchmaker when his team signed defensive end Alex Okafor to a one-year contract in free agency. Vaccaro said Okafor has been his best friend since their years together with the Texas Longhorns from 2009 to 2012.
"It's unreal to be able to play with someone who you know would be your friend even if you didn't play football," said Vaccaro.
"I know that a lot of guys don't get to play with their closest friends from college anymore once they get to the league, so it's pretty special to get to do that," said Okafor.
Okafor has settled in to his new home so far. He says his favorite thing is the food, and his least favorite thing is the weather (shocker!)
However, Okafor will still compete with former second-round pick Hau'oli Kikaha (who is returning from an ACL injury), veteran Darryl Tapp, Obum Gwacham and rookies Trey Hendrickson and Al-Quadin Muhammad, among others.
When WGNO's Meghan Kluth asked Okafor how he hopes to contribute he answered confidently.
"The Saints told me exactly what they were looking for when I signed with them, and that's what I plan to do," he said.