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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
ATH Okereke adds to impressive spring

By Erik McKinney

What already was an impressive spring for Bobby Okereke (Tustin, Calif./Foothill) jumped up another notch this week, as the 6-foot-1, 213-pound athlete added Oregon and USC to his impressive offer sheet.

The Oregon offer turned out to be something of a formality. The Ducks decided to offer Okereke about three weeks ago, but the athlete said he and defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti had been playing phone tag for that entire time before they finally connected.

The offer from USC came face-to-face with the Trojans coaches, as Okereke took part in their camp this past Sunday. The groundwork was laid earlier this spring, when assistant head coach Ed Orgeron made the trip to Okereke's high school to watch a practice.

"He came about two weeks before the camp and said he liked me in person," Okereke said. "He said if I could go to the camp, he was pretty sure Coach [Lane] Kiffin would offer."

Okereke said he stayed at linebackers coach Mike Ekeler's hip during the camp, and the two were talking in-depth about the defense and schemes they were running.

"I kind of had a feeling they were going to offer," Okereke said. "I went to the camp, competed and performed well."

Though he didn't begin playing football until high school, Okereke already holds 16 scholarship offers, including ones from some of the premier academic institutions in the country. That's not an accident.

Okereke has a 4.5 GPA and scored a 2120 on his SAT, and said academics are very much a priority for him and his family.

"I'm not going to sacrifice academics to go to a great football school," he said. "But I also want it to be competitive in football."

Okereke said he would like to study business administration in college, whether that means starting out with business or economics. He also has his sights set on several internships while he earns his degree.

A terrific athlete, Okereke has the ability to play multiple positions in college. He said Colorado and Nevada offered as a tight end, Northwestern as a defensive end, USC and Oregon as an outside linebacker and Vanderbilt and Washington as an athlete. Okereke added that he sees himself going forward on the defensive side of the ball, most likely as an outside linebacker or standup defensive end.

The final day of his junior year is June 20, and Okereke said he'd like to firm up a list of his five or six finalists on that date. California, Northwestern, Oregon, USC, Vanderbilt and Washington are leading the pack at this point, but he added that he will take a long look at the Ivy League schools as well -- he holds offers from Harvard, Penn and Yale. A few days after that date, Okereke will be at Washington, as he plans to camp with the Huskies.

While college recruits will be going hard after Okereke, two schools could have some home-field advantage in that regard. Okereke's older sisters attend USC and Vanderbilt and he said both have been somewhat vocal about their schools since he received the offers.