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Is Patrick Onwuasor a dirty player?

NCAA Football: Portland State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Only four days into training camp, Baltimore Ravens safety Patrick Onwuasor had already found himself in the headlines twice, but not for good reasons. On the first day of practice, the safety shoved running back Kenneth Dixon out of bounds. Dixon was injured on the play and wasn’t seen at practice for several days.

The next day, Onwuasor got into a fight with running back ‘Buck’ Allen. And on Sunday, August July 31, Onwuasor got into a fight again, this time with fullback Kyle Juzczyk.

While Onwuasor has been in the news for bad reasons, he has never been to be known a head hunter, so his intention would seem pure:

Onwuasor has no precedent of being a dirty player. In fact, he is an extremely kind hearted guy.

In the summer of 2015, Onwuasor met Deric Tomkins at Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp. The camp is located in Portland, Oregon, and is designed for people with disabilities. Tomkins is 36 years old and was born with Down syndrome. Tomkins’ mother was anxious when she saw the a football player would be her son’s counselor, but upon meeting Onwuasor, her view changed completely.

Onwuasor formed a special bond with Deric. Deric came home raving about how much fun he had. He decided he wanted to attend the Portland State football games to see Onwuasor play. The Tomkins’ family bought seats right near the tunnel, and Onwuasor was thrilled to see them at the game.

The Tomkins’ went to every home game in 2015, sitting in the same seats by the tunnel every game. One game, Onwuasor gave Deric his gloves. Deric never took them off, not even to go to a Special Olympics soccer practice (via Ken Goe of The Oregonian).

Onwuasor is also special on the field. He recorded nine interceptions in just seven games, including one game with three picks.

Onwuasor is a playmaker. He patrols the secondary, always ready to create a turnover, and he delivers truck-like hits. The Ravens have fielded hard hitting, playmaking safeties before and they worked out pretty well (I think this guy named Ed Reed was pretty good).

That’s not to say that Onwuasor is Reed, that is an unfair comparison to make, but he possesses the potential to be a pretty good player. He is tough on the field, which Ravens head coach John Harbaugh loves, but he is also a good guy to have in the locker room.

Onwuasor’s relationship with Deric shows a good hearted player, so in all liklihood his actions at Ravens training camp are purely from the heat of competition. Onwuasor doesn't want to be a dirty player, he just wants to make the 53 man roster and if it takes being a ‘blue-chip player’, then thats the role he will play.