Where are Gwacham and Morales now?

by Josh Worden Senior Beat Reporter

Obum Gwacham: Football wide receiver and defensive end, 2010-2014

At OSU: Gwacham was a wide receiver his first four years at OSU before switching to defensive end in 2014. He had four sacks and a forced fumble that year while earning Pac-12 All-Academic First Team honors.

Now: The 24-year-old just wrapped up his rookie season in the NFL, recording 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He was picked up by the New Orleans Saints a day after the Seattle Seahawks, who selected him in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, cut him in September.

“The hardest part was having to live out of two or three bags for a couple months,” he said. “(Seattle) letting me go and having to pack everything up and leave for New Orleans within 24 hours definitely changed things up.”

Gwacham didn’t buy a car or house in Seattle until he knew he would be there long-term, a choice that fortunately “paid off.” Now he lives 15 minutes from downtown New Orleans and plays with former OSU teammate Brandin Cooks.

“He was one of the first guys I saw as soon as I got down there,” Gwacham said of the Biletnikoff-Award winning wide receiver. “He’s still the same goofy guy.”

This offseason, Gwacham plans to train in Portland and Indianapolis while also taking some time off for a weekend in Cancun with fellow ex-OSU players Joshua Andrews and Devon Kell.

He only has one year under his belt in the NFL, but Gwacham already has plenty of foresight for his personal future. He’s still single but already acts like a family man.

“To be honest, I am playing for my kids that I don’t have yet and for my family,” he said. “I want to make sure they’ll be proud of me and I can take care of them one day.”

— Shane Morales: Football wide receiver, 2006-2008.

At OSU: Morales had breakout year in 2008, his senior season at OSU. He wasn’t the starter in the opener versus Stanford, but totaled 13 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown versus the Cardinal. He ended up leading the team with eight receiving touchdowns that year, helping OSU go 9-4 with a win over Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl.

Now: Morales has pursued several different career fields since graduating from OSU, from the military to coaching and more.

Upon graduating, Morales wanted to get into coaching; he worked as a graduate assistant at OSU in 2009. That didn’t lead to any other jobs, so he tried to join the military but failed the physical. How is that possible for a former Division-I athlete?

“Concussions, bad hip, I could go down the line,” he said.

Morales, 29, moved to Boston about a year ago and works for John Hancock as a retirement plan associate. Though he lives on the east coast, he mainly works with small businesses in Oregon.

Now in the financial sector, Morales has come across some former Beavers in his work, such as former OSU defensive lineman Bill Swancutt.

“It’s funny how it all works,” Morales said. “You see how (athletes) are in college and now we all have these big-boy jobs and are dealing with way too much money.”

After bouncing from a few different jobs in his twenties, Morales is ready to settle down for the time being at John Hancock.

“We’re very truthful, we’re honest,” he said. “A lot of the stuff (former head coach) Mike Riley instilled in us: being a person of integrity.”

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