Skip to main content


Presented by

Jonah Laulu's decision to 'take matters into his own hands' pays off

Jonah Laulu said he made the decision to transfer from Hawaii to Oklahoma to grow as a defensive lineman.

Generic Article Template

After a trying past few years, Oklahoma's Jonah Laulu said all the adversity had been worth it because he'd learned the Colts were going to select him with the No. 234 pick of the seventh round.

"Everybody says, 'I want to go play in the NFL' and being one of the guys that gets to do it is just crazy," Laulu said. "I'm just very overwhelmed right now."

From changing positions multiple times in college to transferring to a school over 3,700 miles away, Laulu's path to the NFL was a windy road.

It all began at the University of Hawaii where he initially committed to play tight end.

However, after making it to campus, his coaching staff wanted him to move to defensive end. Laulu said that the transition was tough, but it helped to make him better.

"I was getting my butt whooped by all these offensive linemen, which really helped me though," Laulu said. "You gotta go through stuff to learn and so, I was going through it for sure. Getting my butt whooped, thrown around inside and so in that second year with them, I got way better than I was."

When Hawaii's coaching staff left to take another job, Laulu said he felt like the group that replaced them was not dedicated to his growth.

The Colts wrapped up their 2024 NFL Draft by selecting Oklahoma defensive tackle Jonah Laulu in the seventh round (No. 234 overall) on Saturday.

That's when he made the decision to transfer to the University of Oklahoma.

He said the move not only gave him the structure he needed but helped to re-ignite his passion for football.

"I found a new love for the game when I moved inside," Laulu said. "Especially playing three technique, pass rushing from a three - I don't know, I just felt so free when I was rushing from there."

In two seasons with the Sooners, he had 31 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

He followed that up by having a strong outing at Oklahoma's pro day when he ran a 4.96 40-yard dash and had 36-inch vertical leap.

Throughout the pre-draft process, Laulu'd developed a rapport with Colts but admitted that he didn't know if it would lead to them drafting him.

"Just being able to talk to scouts on Zoom, I thought was really cool. He [Anthony Coughlan] was saying that they really liked me," Laulu said. "I didn't know they liked me this much. So, they had me come out for a visit. I really loved the staff... Coach [Charlie] Patridge and coach [Gus] Bradley really got to learn about my story and how I kind of had to take things into my own hands to get where I was."

Up Next: 2024 Schedule Release

Play Jim Irsay’s Million Dollar Schedule Challenge HERE for your chance to win $1 Million! Don't wait, contest ends 4/30 at 11:59pm ET!

The Colts 2024 Schedule will be released in May! Follow along with our Live Schedule Tracker and join the Official Priority List to get first access to tickets.

Related Content

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Single Game Tickets On Sale Now!

Our 2024 schedule is set! Secure your seats to all home games at Lucas Oil Stadium now.