Introducing the 2003 Class: Julius Orieukwu

The combination of extraordinary athletic talent and intelligence is somewhat of a rarity in college football. Fortunately for ASU, offensive lineman Julius Orieukwu epitomizes both those qualities. DevilsDigest talked to the incoming freshman as he prepares to embark on his Sun Devil career.

Schools aren't always rewarded for recruiting players late in the recruiting season. However, due to a series of unforeseen events to a few of the Arizona State offensive linemen the Devils were forced to alter the number of players on their wish list. Orieukwu had no problem looking past the fact that ASU never showed him much attention early on. "Last November Coach Guy showed up and told me how excited he was about me after watching my tape." Recalls the lineman who was rated as an all-region selection by PrepStar "He was a pretty enthusiastic and up-tempo guy. That was actually the first time I had contact with ASU. I never got any letters or phone calls before that…It didn't matter that they came in late. I just look at the school and the whole picture. I don't dismiss them just because they showed up late. It didn't make it a hard decision for me."

Like many other ASU signees, the official visit to Tempe made a profound impact on the member of the Touchdown Club All-Greater Houston team "Grayling Love was my host. The campus and the people were real nice. The weather was great. I did a lot of hanging out with the players and that was cool. When I left that campus after my visit, I knew that this is where I want to go. It was just a great visit and I just stuck with ASU since then." Some of Orieukwu's other suitors were Arizona, UCLA, Texas Tech, TCU. "The other schools did back off after I committed to ASU. They just knew I had my mind made up to go there."

Orieukwu played on both sides of the line with a very respectable degree of success. In his last two years of high school football he recorded eleven sacks. Even though he's content to play offensive line, one gets the sense that the defensive end position is very dear to his heart. "Defensive line is more fun because you get to hit more, and be very aggressive. Offensive line is also cool. I think it's easier playing there, because it's easier to block than tackle… With my skills (including a 84-inch wingspan) offensive tackle suits me better ... Some schools wanted me at defensive line. ASU in the beginning wasn't sure where they wanted me, but in the end they decided on the offensive line."

For the last two years he has been a National Honor Society member, as well as the all-Academic all-district 18A-5A for the past three years. Thus, it should come as no surprise that he lists his intellect as one of the strongest skills. "My strong points are that I'm pretty smart and intuitive. I'm quicker than people think I am. The main thing I think I should work on is overall strength." Some believe in the stigma that the hogs upfront aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, as they rely more on their physical attributes as opposed to their smarts. The Houston native couldn't disagree more on that point." You have to be smart to play offensive lineman. You need to know the whole playbook. I think this position has some of the smartest players."

Despite the fact that he's a fine basketball player, who knows of the success of fellow Texan and current ASU player Ike Diogu, he has no desire to be two-sport player with the Devils. This is despite the fact that he fully expects to redshirt the 2003 football season. "I don't mind redshirting. It won't hurt me; just help me because there's a lot I need to learn. I rather redshirt, but of course if they really need me I'll play."

The offensive lineman is coming in for the school's bridge program in late June, and is looking forward to participating in the off-season workouts and getting aquatinted with the campus and his new surroundings. The maroon and gold fans in turn can look forward to seeing this physically imposing player use an equal dosage of smarts and athleticism to possibly joining a long distinguished list of standout Sun Devil offensive linemen.

Recruit Profile


Julius Orieukwu

High School

Bellaire HS (Bellaire, TX)







Date of Birth



Houston, TX



Favorite TV Show


Favorite Movie


Favorite Singer

"I don't have a favorite. I just like Hip Hop and R&B."

Favorite Food


Favorite Drink


Favorite Athlete

"Michael Jordan."

Favorite Pro Team

"Sacramento Kings."

Person you most admire

"My dad. He's a good person. He taught me a lot of things that will carry me through life."

First Football Memory

"Running a lot in practice in middle school in my conditioning drills."

One Thing most people don't know about me

"I really like to play video games."

Why did you choose ASU?

"It's just a real good school in social life and academics."

Where do you want to be in ten years?

"A financial accountant or a stock broker."

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