Shawn Oakman is officially back on the gridiron … and he tells TMZ Sports despite being sidelined while fighting for his freedom, he’s ready to kick start a Hall of Fame career.
Oakman — once projected as a top NFL draft pick — had his football career derailed when a fellow Baylor student claimed the football star raped her in 2016.
The case went to trial … and Shawn was found NOT GUILTY (the jury only needed 45 minutes to deliberate) earlier this year. Still, the allegation caused him to go undrafted … costing him time in the NFL and millions of dollars in salary.
Now, Oakman — who’s 27 years old — is getting a new opportunity to play big-time football with the XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats.
We talked to Oakman … and it’s clear he’s not content just collecting a paycheck — he wants to go down as literally one of the greatest players of all-time.
“It only takes one great year,” Oakman says. “A year here, a year there, next thing you know, they’re gonna be talking about gold jackets.”
“In 5 years I’ll be 32? Why not?”
If you’re not familiar with the 6’9, 280 lb. Oakman — aside from destroying dudes on the field — he also shot to internet superstardom a few years back when a photo of Shawn in his Baylor uni went viral … sparking endless hilarious memes.
He was a beast then … and Oakman says he’s gonna be even BETTER now.
“I’m definitely ready to show the world that I got a lot more to give to the game than I did before.”
As for how it feels to finally put the pads back on … Oakman says “It’s definitely surreal. It’s a surreal feeling that you really can’t explain. It’s like, Cinderella with her glass slipper, you just turn into a beautiful princess. Something like that.”
“I’m definitely back in my environment. It feels great.”
Oakman and the Wildcats take the field February 8.