football Edit

Otito Ogbonnia ready to visit Vols

Following an impressive senior season, Katy Taylor (Texas) defensive tackle Otito Ogbonnia saw his stock soar, with UCLA, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Tennessee and others all extending offers in the last two months.

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound 3-star lineman has taken official visits to Texas Tech, Ole Miss and UCLA, and Ogbonnia has a trip set for Tennessee this weekend. Notre Dame and Nebraska are competing for his final OV before National Signing Day, but he locked in his visit with the Vols after meeting the staff in person last week.

“After the in-home visit (with Tennessee) I just looked at everything and decided I needed to take a visit after what they had to say,” Ogbonnia told VolQuest.

Since earning a Vols offer on Jan. 2, Ogbonnia has been in steady contact with both Tracy Rocker and head coach Jeremy Pruitt, and both coaches went in-home with the defensive tackle's family a week ago. They assured him that he was needed on Rocky Top and that Tennessee was worth a look.

“They’ve both been contacting me pretty often. Just getting to know each other,” Ogbonnia said.

“They’ve really just told me that with all their experience combined they have, and everything they can do, especially with the other guys they’ve gotten on the staff, that they need more people like me up front.”

The Lone Star State prospect was overshadowed a bit on a high school defensive line that included 4-star ends Max Wright and Braedon Mowry, but Ogbonnia's intriguing athleticism — he's one of the best shot putters in Texas — has garnered interest from colleges across the country. Even in-state powerhouses Texas and Texas A&M have routinely maintained contact with Ogbonnia in the last month.

“I have a pretty big punch and I bull rush (opponents) and once get my hands on them, I make (plays),” he said. “I think it’s just one of those things where I’ve barely scratched the surface in terms of really developing my game. Once I get around a really good coaching staff I think that’s where I’ll really be able to show my skills.”

Ogbonnia said he feels like a priority for Tennessee’s staff and he’s ready to get a look at the campus and school. Academics are very important, as is the possibility of also competing in track and field in college.

How would he fit in with Tennessee’s new defense?

“They said they’re going to rotate between a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense, so they want to use me as a 3-technique, a nose guard and sometimes as a pass rusher with that ability that I have.”