Sunday, January 13, 2013
Busy month awaits Okoroike
By Erik McKinney
Defensive end Michael Okoroike (Antelope, Calif./Antelope) might want to keep an extra suitcase packed and ready to go for the next few weeks. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound standout has a chance to set out upon a very hectic schedule.
Okoroike holds offers from Air Force, Fresno State, Nevada and San Jose State, and is receiving interest from California. He would like an opportunity to visit all five before he makes his final decision, which could eventually push that decision beyond signing day.
"I want to try to sign by signing day, but I'm not sure how that will work out," Okoroike said.
He started his schedule with an official visit to Nevada this past weekend, and the Wolfpack, with new head coach Brian Polian, made a strong impression.
"My opinion of Nevada is better now that I've seen the campus," Okoroike said. "They have really nice facilities, nice people and I met the academic counsellor. They have good coaches and good players already there.
"It was fun to have time with the other recruits and to meet people I might be teammates with soon. Coach Polian is a good dude. He's down to earth and easy to talk to. It's going to be a nice environment with him there."
One of the schools that could wind up pushing Nevada for a commitment from Okoroike is Cal. Former Nevada defensive line coach Barry Sacks took the same position with the Golden Bears and Okoroike said he received a call from Sacks the same day he took the position. It was to set up an official visit to Cal, which will take place on Jan. 18.
"It's probably possible they're going to offer," Okoroike said. "Now I have to see the school and see how comfortable I feel there, because I feel very comfortable at Nevada. I just want to see the facilities and everything there -- the school, meet the coaches for sure, see how I fit with the players who are already there.
"Most likely it will come down to Nevada and Cal. This weekend really opened my eyes to Nevada. If Cal had offered me three months ago, I probably would have taken it then and there. But now I'm seeing my options and there are some good schools other than Cal."
Next week's trip will be Okoroike's first experience on the Cal campus, and the defensive end said he'd like to be able to compare on-campus experiences between all five of his top schools. A visit to San Jose State could be on tap after Cal, and he is trying to work out how to schedule trips to Air Force and Fresno State.
As a senior, Okoroike finished with 50 tackles, including six sacks, as well as three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.