The young defensive end weathered through the many calls, pre-draft workouts, draft disappointments, failed representation, and grinding to an MBA degree to now be on the precipice of discovering his professional football dream. Michael Badejo never gave in to the misfortune. At times he had questions. Even elite athletes question their circumstances.
"Yeah, everything happens for a reason," Badejo stated. "I went ahead and went to MLFB route, Major League Football when things weren't kind of going my way. It was a blessing to be there and actually play with some top guys, top dogs."
Michael was referring to his short stint in MLFB before the league abruptly shut down operations on July 29. The league closure was a tough break for Badejo, who was garnering attention while playing for the Arkansas Attack.
"I was there for about two weeks, maybe almost two weeks, until the league shut down. It's tragic. We were praying that we would be able to get back going. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. So, I had to figure things out, email people, and try and get things going. It was kind of dark at first, but the light started coming through once I got the email from the XFL giving me the draft and like," Badejo noted.
The Aug. 12 email was an invitation letter for Michael Badejo to join the 'Player Draft Pool' for the 2023 season from co-owners Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Dany Garcia. He missed the XFL HBCU Showcase because he had already accepted the MLFB invitation.
Badejo hasn't turned his attention away from the National Football League with his new agent Donald Loper of LMG Sports from Windermere, Florida. "He's kind of like me. The guys go getter. He's a networking guy. He'll bug somebody until he gets an answer," Badejo jokingly mentioned.
Before the XFL Draft in November, Loper is still seeking new opportunities for Michael in the NFL. The men are ready for the call if an NFL training camp roster spot becomes available.
Through all of the ebbs and flows of life, Michael Badejo quietly obtained a graduate degree from Texas Southern University. "Yeah, so I recently, just this past weekend, graduated with my master's. I got my MBA in Business Marketing."
Michael's mother and twin have their doctorate degrees. The family is close and values education. "Everybody got their PhDs, and I need to go ahead and get this MBA, something that's close to them. The MBA is going to hold a lot of weight. A guy who finished with two degrees, and I didn't have to pay nothing about it. So you know, that's a blessing in disguise, so I was definitely huge."
Whether Michael Badejo makes it to the NFL or XFL or not, it's his tenacity and determination that will help chart his future past the game of football.