Ugo Amadi’s football life is coming full circle this week.

The former Oregon safety isn’t among the handful of elite prospects invited to hug it out on stage with Roger Goodell during the opening night of the NFL draft on Thursday in Nashville, Tenn.

But Amadi is back in his hometown to complete his journey of becoming a professional athlete.

“Nashville, Tennessee, that’s where I’m from and that’s where it’s going to go down at. It’s going to be fun,” Amadi said. “I’m going to be with my family, so that’s going to be a good time. I haven’t been home for a while, I've just been training.

“I told my mom I’m not coming back until I get some good news. Hopefully I’ll get some good news.”

Amadi was a late addition to the Ducks’ 2015 recruiting class. John Neal, who coached the Oregon’s secondary from 2003-2016, viewed the four-star prospect as a possible replacement for All-American cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

“I told him it was a blessing from God, and I’m not kidding,” Neal said of Amadi’s arrival during fall camp in 2015. “Because without him right now, we’re swimming upstream and we’re now basically a man-and-a-half short. You come in with a guy that can play as a true freshman and is going to play as a true freshman, that’s a blessing.

“That was a gift.”

Amadi played in all 13 games as a true freshman, including four starts, and made the clinching interception in a victory at Washington. Oregon’s defense struggled during the up and down 9-4 finish in 2015 and again during the 4-8 2016 campaign that cost coach Mark Helfrich his staff their jobs.

After playing the first 29 games of his collegiate career at cornerback, defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt decided to move Amadi to safety.

During the 2017 season, Amadi led the team with three interceptions and three forced fumbles. Last season the affable senior returned two interceptions and a punt for touchdowns.

“It’s crazy because I felt it was a marathon not a sprint for me,” Amadi said of his development. “Coming into college, it just took time for me to develop and get the hang of things and understand what was going on.”

Amadi played in all 51 of Oregon’s games from 2015-18 and for three defensive coordinators — Don Pellum (2015), Brady Hoke (2016) and Leavitt (2017-18).

Following the Ducks’ 9-4 finish to Mario Cristobal’s first season as head coach, Amadi won the Lombardi Award given for “performance and leadership honed by character and resiliency.”

Previous winners include NFL stars Aaron Donald (Pitt), Luke Kuechly (Boston College) and Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska).

“I just think it was a great accomplishment by him winning that Lombardi Award and everything that thing stands for,” safties coach Keith Heyward said. “Everything that Ugo has been through, and then soaking it in and being a sponge of all the teaching that everybody was pouring into him, is a good lesson four young players. That development and perseverance of just working and doing what the coaches ask you to do, you could end up in that position just like Ugo.”

Amadi, a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist, finished with 55 tackles, including 5.0 for loss and 1.5 sacks last season. He also led the Pac-12 with a 15.93-yard average on punt returns.

“He’s one of those guys whose reactions are instantaneous and they allow him to get a step on a receiver, a bead on a quarterback trying to pull the ball and disguise the running game,” Cristobal said. “Ugo has a unique skill set and it’s coupled with his ability to get back there and field punts and make big plays happen. We know that he broke a couple games open with his punt returns.

“So the future is super bright for him.”

The versatile Amadi said during interviews teams have expressed an interest in his ability to cover slot receivers, play in nickel (five defensive backs) packages and at safety at the next level.

Amadi, who measured 5-foot-9 and ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, is projected as a late-round pick.

The Nashville kid just wants to get some good news from an NFL franchise during his homecoming.

“It’s like tears of joy,” Amadi said of the journey during last month’s workout for scouts at Oregon’s pro timing day in the Moshofsky Center. “We work so hard to get to this point and now we’re able to showcase our abilities.”