Born: December 16, 1987 – Detroit, Michigan
2019: Years as a Lion: 9th Years in CFL: 10th Status: International
Career Games: 156 Playoffs: 10 Grey Cup: 1 (2011 w/BC)
Jovan was signed by the Lions as a free agent on May 19, 2018.
2018: After a one-year stint with the Montreal Alouettes, Jovan returned to the the team he spent the first seven years of his career in 2018. Big O was a steadying force on the offensive line, starting all 18 regular season games at right tackle for the Leos. Jovan also started at right tackle in the East Division Semi-Final against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
2017: (MTL) The Lions traded Jovan to the Montreal Alouettes in exchange for offensive lineman, David Foucault and Vincent Brown. Jovan appeared in 12 games for Montreal in his lone season with the Als.
2016: Jovan was moved to the left tackle position prior to the season and helped protect quarterback Jonathon Jennings, who threw for more than 5,000 yards, all while allowing the Lions offence to amass over 2,000 rushing yards. He also hauled in an eight-yeard pass and then scored a touchdown.
2015: Jovan again enjoyed a dominant season from his spot on the Lions’ offensive line not only earning his fifth CFL All-Star selection along with his sixth West Division honour but also his third divisional nod as Most Outstanding Lineman. He also started all 18 regular season games, making him the current leader among Lions with 108 consecutive games played.
2014: Another standout campaign for the veteran right tackle he started every game for a fifth consecutive season, picking up yet another West Division All-Star selection and his fourth All-Canadian honour.
2013: In his fourth CFL season, Jovan anchored the offensive line from his right tackle position and played all 18 games for the club. Part of a five-man unit that showed steady improvement through the season, the line surrendered just seven sacks in the final four games of the regular season. Jovan’s consistent play netted him a West Division and CFL All-Star selection, the third consecutive league-wide honour for him.
2012: Jovan appeared in all 18 regular season games with the Lions. He was the linchpin of a very strong offensive line, earning the title as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Lineman in 2012. He was also named a West Division All-Star, the West Division Most Outstanding Lineman and a CFL All-Star.
2011: Jovan emerged as one of the CFL’s finest offensive linemen in 2011 after a season where he started all 20 games through the Western Final and Grey Cup. He was named to the West Division All-Star Team for the second straight year, as well as an All-CFL squad selection and received the West’s nod as the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman losing out in the Gibson’s Finest voting to Josh Bourke of Montreal. Jovan played all 18 games for the second straight season and contributed to the club’s huge improvement from 65 sacks allowed in 2010 to a league-low 29 in 2011.
2010: Jovan was among the very best of the Lions’ fine crop of rookies in 2010, earning a place on the West Division All-Star team and was named the club’s Outstanding Lineman. He started all 18 games in a variety of roles, shifting from right guard to the challenge of left tackle. He made the shift successfully after the first 12 games with the return of Sherko Haji-Rasouli to the lineup. Jovan was the only offensive lineman to start all 18 games.
CFL All-Star: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011
CFL Most Outstanding Lineman: 2012
West Division All-Star: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
West Division Most Outstanding Lineman: 2015, 2012, 2011
2005-2008: Jovan started his college career at Grand Rapids Community College after starring in high school and being named All-Downriver Area All-Star. He transferred to the North Carolina Central as a junior in 2007 and started at left guard for the Eagles’ number one-rated offence. After an outstanding junior season, Jovan was selected to the 2008 Preseason All-Independent First Team.
Before joining the North Carolina Central Eagles, Olafioye played junior college football at Grand Rapids Community College. In 2012, there were as many as 15 NFL teams interested in working out Olafioye during the option year window following his second season with BC, but he iltimately decided to return to the Lions.
Jovan was a Sports Management major at NCCU and spends his off-seasons helping out at football camps and working out. Known as ‘Big O’ to friends, the Detroit native is partial to the stylings of Young Jeezy.
When not catching up on reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Jovan can be found reading the Bible. He notes his Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) championship win in 2007 as his biggest football memory to date.