Four-time Pro-Bowler Brian Orakpo’s impressive professional football career spanned 10 seasons in the NFL, including stints with the Washington Redskins and the Tennessee Titans. After announcing his retirement following the 2018 season, Orakpo has since emerged as a zealous entrepreneur with a burgeoning television career. He is recognized most recently as a cupcake guru, opening up a Gigi’s Cupcakes franchise in his hometown of Beecave, Texas with his friends, fellow NFL standout Michael Griffin and college classmate Bryan Hynson.
Known as the “workout warrior” from his college days at the University of Texas, Orakpo made an immediate impact for the Longhorns, earning him Defensive Freshman of the Year and first-team Freshman All-America by The Sporting News. Orakpo’s time as a standout collegiate athlete, afforded him many well-deserved accolades such as the Defensive MVP of the 2007 Holiday Bowl, and the Associated Press Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2008. In addition, he was the winner of the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the best defensive player, the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the top defensive end, The Bill Willis Trophy given to the top collegiate defensive lineman, and the Lombardi Award, given to the best lineman or linebacker. He was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American, after receiving first-team honors from the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News, and the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He was the first Texas Longhorn defensive end to earn All-American honors since Tony Brackens in 1995.
Orakpo started off his NFL career strong. After being selected by the Washington Redskins as the 13th overall pick in the 2009 draft, Orakpo became the first Redskins’ rookie to make the Pro Bowl since RB/KR Tony Green in 1978. He started in all 16 games as a rookie and recorded 50 combined tackles (37 solo), a career-high 11 sacks, and two pass deflections. While with the Redskins, Orakpo’s endorsement contracts included one he signed in August 2011 with Geico, and he appeared in several commercials with the company’s signature “caveman” spokesperson. Orakpo also appeared in several commercials for Eastern Motors, a D.C. area car dealership. Orakpo had an impressive six seasons with the Redskins before signing with the Tennessee Titans. As a Titan, for four seasons Orakpo started in every single game except three due to an elbow injury, before retiring at the end of 2018.
Orakpo’s charismatic agility and keen instincts have served him well throughout the years as a football player, entrepreneur, and most recently star of a hit Microsoft commercial with his friend and former teammate Michael Griffin. Besides being an unconventional pastry chef running his cupcake business alongside his partners, Orakpo also has his hand in several other business ventures including one with his brother Mike Orakpo. The Orakpo brothers partnered together to launch an app called Athlete Connect, which is positioned to be the Uber of athlete training, serving as a hub in which trainers can connect with athletes seamlessly. Orakpo and his wife Bitura reside in Austin, Texas with their three children.
Brian Orakpo, Michael Griffin, and Bryan Hynson first met as students at the University of Texas at Austin and have been a close dynamic trio ever since. Following dominant college football careers, Orakpo and Griffin were both drafted into the NFL and Hynson went on to focus on his career in business and sales. Brian Orakpo had impressive career in the NFL as a four-time Pro-Bowler with 10 seasons under his belt, including All Pro years with the Washington Redskins and the Tennessee Titans. Michael Griffin’s stellar career in the NFL also spanned 10 seasons, including his seasons with the Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings, and the Carolina Panthers. The trio joined forces as business partners after Orakpo and Griffin both retired from the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee is where they all first became familiar with Nashville-based Gigi’s Cupcakes, and were hooked on the product from their very first taste. Together, they bought their own franchise in Bee Cave, Texas down the street from where they all first met. From there, their cupcake business was born and has evolved into a brand that has seen a great deal of early success, which was supercharged by a national Microsoft Surface campaign that made their story national news. The three friends all reside in Austin, Texas with their families.