Shawn Oakman has returned to football, and believes he has lost much through this transitional period, yet gained so much more. Oakman currently plays defensive end for Toronto Argonauts of the CFL.
Oakman has been working to regain his incredible physicality that once made him standout at football events like the NFL Scouting Combine. This year he played both indoor football (Bismarck Bucks of Champions Indoor Football) and defunct XFL tournaments.
Early Life and Education
Oakman graduated from Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania before enrolling at Penn State. Later transferring to Baylor University in 2012 and excelling as an elite player; leading his team with 7.5 quarterback sacks during 2014.
The question was always whether the NFL would give him another shot with his past still haunting him. Though some teams worked out with him, nothing ever materialized. Instead, he signed with the revamped XFL and played for Los Angeles Wildcats until that league shut down due to COVID-19 pandemic; thereafter joining Triangle Torch, West Virginia Roughriders, Bismarck Bucks of American Arena League; he also plays with Toronto Argonauts of CFL.
Oakman stands 6-foot-9 and 290 pounds and his intimidating presence makes an impactful statement on any line of scrimmage. His size and pass-rushing skills earned him consideration by the NFL as a potential draft choice.
Oakman’s career took an abrupt turn when he was charged with sexual assault and arrested on those allegations, which even though denied severely damaged his reputation and prevented him from getting into the NFL.
After three years of fighting the accusations, he was finally vindicated in February 2019 and began rebuilding his life and realizing his dream of playing professional football.
Oakman has quickly made his mark in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Currently playing for Toronto Argonauts and having previously represented Bismarck Bucks and Triangle Torch of American Arena League respectively.
Achievement and Honors
Shawn Oakman stood at 6 feet 9 inches and 280 pounds – an unstoppable force on the football field. As a defensive lineman at Baylor University, Shawn made waves during their success by helping secure two Big 12 Conference titles under his tutelage.
Oakman had been projected as a high-round pick in the NFL draft; however, his life changed abruptly when he was accused of rape; these claims were challenged and ultimately cleared in February 2019.
He’s still striving to play professional football, and has made great strides to hone his game. He has had stints with Triangle Torch of American Arena League, Bismarck Bucks of Champions Indoor Football League and Austin Generals of Spring League League.
Oakman faced early struggles with alcoholism and drug dependency during his formative years. His mother Vernetta was an admitted cocaine user who could not provide a secure home environment for her children.
Oakman was considered by some experts as a potential first-round selection in the NFL Draft; however, he decided instead to return to Baylor for his senior year where he proved productive enough to receive third team All-America honors from Associated Press.
Oakman went undrafted in the NFL following his senior season and had to find work afterward. He took various jobs in order to pay his bills as well as participate in minor indoor football leagues like Triangle Torch and Champions Indoor Football with Bismarck Bucks.
Oakman remains focused on his dream of playing professional football; currently playing for Toronto Argonauts of Canadian Football League.
At Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, he excelled at both football and basketball – becoming a standout athlete at both. After graduation he enrolled at Penn State on an athletic scholarship before eventually transferring to Baylor University in July 2012.
Oakman was arrested for sexual assault in 2016, which severely diminished his prospects of playing NFL football. Although he attempted to workout for the New Orleans Saints but nothing came of it, he eventually signed with the XFL before it closed due to COVID-19 pandemic – eventually becoming free agent and continuing his football career in XFL before retiring entirely as a free agent in 2020. Oakman remains committed to his professional football career.