B.J. Ojulari is not only a star defensive end on the LSU football team, he’s the grandson of Prince Twins Seven-Seven of Nigeria. Ojulari’s mother has anywhere between 30-40 siblings, and because of this, he will likely never sit on a throne. However, he still considers his title a huge honor, and his actions reflect it.
“You just have to carry yourself differently,” he said. “Back home a lot of people know who your grandpa is. They’re not bowing down to you, it's more about respecting his name and what he did. He was a big musician and artist back home in Nigeria.”
Like Ojulari said, Seven-Seven was a renowned artist, singer and dancer. He had multiple hit records as a musician, and his artwork was featured in the National Museum of African American Art at the Smithsonian. Upon his death in 2011, The New York Times even published an article about his life.
Although Ojulari is no artist, his unique talent runs through him and onto the football field. Ojulari earned the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week Award in 2020 as a true freshman. His older brother, Azeez Ojulari, is also a college football star and declared for the NFL draft in 2021.
Ojulari says he and his brother honor their grandfather through the sport.
“Me and my brother play football, so it’s pretty cool to continue the name and the legacy of him,” Ojulari said. “Even though we don’t share his last name, it’s still a part of us, a big part of us. We like to carry that royalty in our character.”
Someone with a royal title may find their experience on a college football team to be slightly different than others. Thankfully, Ojulari has a good sense of humor about his unique situation.
“When everyone found out, it was like a joke almost,” Ojulari said. “Like, ‘Oh, it’s the Prince! You gotta bow down to the Prince!’ or something like that. Sometimes they still call me Prince in the training room.”
According to his teammate and roommate Max Peterson, Ojulari doesn’t let his royal status get to his head. In fact, Peterson thinks his character is just as honorable as his athletic talent.
“He has the same chivalry as a prince, but he's the nicest person ever,” Peterson said. “He's not cocky or loud. You know, that's what I respect about him so much. If you took football away from him he'd be just as successful.”
Behind his royal title is a dedicated athlete who is proud to be at LSU. Originally from Marietta, Georgia, Ojulari found his home in Death Valley when he signed to LSU in 2019.
Besides graduating from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in business, Ojulari has big dreams about where his talent could take him.
”My future plans are hopefully to make it to the National Football League, have a good career in the National Football League, and just help my family out,” he said. “Out of the connections I’ve made with playing football, I can hopefully own my own business or have a part in a huge fortune 500 company.”
Apparently Ojulari isn’t the only one who thinks he’s capable of making it to the NFL. In fact, his teammates have just as much confidence in his athletic ability as he does.
“I don't wanna jinx him,” Peterson said. “But he will be one of the greatest d-ends in NFL history.”