Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Coaches' corner: DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
By Brandon Chatmon
After recruiting them for several months, Oklahoma's coaching staff was finally able to talk publicly about the players the Sooners added to the program on signing day. Over the next week or so, SoonerNation will review some of the key things coaches had to say about the players signed at each position group during their signing day webcast on Soonersports.com.
The Sooners like Ogbonnia Okoronkwo's pass rush abilities.
Defensive end signee Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Houston/Alief Taylor) is one of the most intriguing signees in the class. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Okoronkwo doesn't really fit the prototypical description of a Sooners defensive end. But he's a perfect fit for a hybrid defensive end/linebacker/pass rush specialist, a spot that could be useful against the various offenses in the Big 12.
"He’s a a smaller guy," defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright said. "[An] edge rusher, drop linebacker type of guy. He has get off, very physical, very talented, fast and explosive."
Okoronkwo displays terrific pass rushing ability, making it quite possible that he finds his way onto the field this fall if he shows a consistent ability to get to the quarterback during preseason camp in August.
"[He has] great acceleration," defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "This is what we need on our defensive front. Guys that can make plays, get off blocks and rush the quarterback. He’s a tremendous rusher that gives us a speed guy off the edge.”
Which the Sooners were sorely lacking in 2012 as OU finished with 24 sacks in 13 games and no Sooner had more than 4.5 sacks. Okoronkwo will be overmatched by most offensive lineman but the Sooners are confident his quickness and relentlessness will overcome any physical disadvantage he faces in pass rush situations.
"Obo is a high motor guy, his motor never stops," linebackers coach Tim Kish said. "He’s going to give us that outside, off the edge pressure that we’re looking for."