Oku: Instant Impact for Red Wolves

This writer got the chance to get to know one recent signee for the Arkansas State Red Wolves during my time covering the Tennessee Volunteers. Go "Inside" for my thoughts on the type of young man that the Red Wolves are getting in this AStateNation Publisher Commentary.

Most football fans don't get to know the players on their respective football teams on a personal level.

They don't get a chance to judge their character or what type of a person a young man is, they only know what they see on the football field or sometimes the headlines.

Arkansas State University picked up a huge signee Wednesday when former four star running back, the Nation's No. 1 all purpose back and former Tennessee Volunteer David Oku enrolled in school at ASU.

I'm proud to say that I know the young man. I often don't refer to myself as a journalist, in fact I proudly say that I'm just a person who gathers information for a fan based website. I actually prefer it that way.

As the publisher of AStateNation.com and the Host of AStateNation Sports Radio, I get the opportunity on almost a daily basis to get to know these players a little better through social media, interviews and being around practices as much as I am.

I also spent two years at the University of Tennessee where I got the chance to watch first hand and get to know Mr. Oku.

He has a great spirit about him, he is a vibrant young man with a huge personality. Things didn't work out for him at Tennessee, one because getting buried on the depth chart by a coaching change and because of some of the people who were in line in front of him.

I can say this for sure, Oku will be an instant impact player for Arkansas State University.

As a true freshmen at Tennessee, this young man lit the SEC on fire for kick off and punt returns. He put up impressive numbers in year one.

He is a different type of back that Gus Malzahn and the Red Wolves currently have on their roster. He is what I like to call a slashing type of runner and he is very electric with the ball in his hand.

He is that change of pace back that will flourish in the Malzahn offensive system.

He is the type of player that can line up at tailback or the slot position.

He is a guy who can come in and right away be one of the top two or three running backs or athletes on this team.

I remember back one time we were interviewing Oku in the spring after his freshman season.

He never complained about being behind Bryce Brown (the nation's No. 1 over player of the Year by one service) he never fussed much about waiting his turn. After his sophomore season, he decided it was best to go a different direction than remain as a Volunteer.

Every system doesn't fit a certain athlete. Oku never settled in at Knoxville.

We talk so many times about how important relationships are in recruiting.

Gus Malzahn developed a great relationship with Oku while he was the offensive coordinator at Auburn. Oku will tell you that it came down to Tennessee and Auburn before deciding to be a Vol.

I'm sure in hindsight he wishes that he might have made a different decision, but I'm sure he feels as this writer does, things happen for a reason.

Now a year removed from football, Oku will return to the gridiron this fall in Jonesboro.

He finally gets that opportunity to be coached by offensive genius.

One current Red Wolf player reflected Thursday his first impressions of meeting Oku.

"He is such a great guy," one current ASU player remarked. "He has a great personality and he will be a perfect fit here on our team."

Someone asked me about what my first impressions were when I first heard about Oku coming to Jonesboro to be a Red Wolf.

I have to be honest my first impression was "Wow".

Thoughts of weapons of mass destruction also came to mind when thinking of the possibility of Oku lining up in the same backfield or team with fellow SEC transfer Michael Dyer.

Malzahn is building something very special here in Jonesboro.

Everyone close tot he program realizes this already.

One Texas quarterback chose the Red Wolves this week over the likes of Nebraska and Missouri. That never happened before until now.

Texas QB Damion Hobbs admitted to AStateNation.com that he wanted to be a part of something special that Malzahn was building here. "That's an understatement."

If Dyer is eligible this fall don't worry Malzahn will find a way to utilize Oku's talents.

Oku has great hands.

He can catch the ball out of the backfield or in the slot position vacated by last year senior Dwayne Frampton.

Frampton was a good player for ASU, Oku has a chance to be a great player for the Red Wolves before his two years are up in Jonesboro.

Oku is a great change of pace back even if Dyer is the starter. I promise you one thing, Malzahn and his coaching staff will find ways to be the ball in his hands as many times as possible.

Your kick and punt return teams just got a whole lot better.

Malzahn promised me earlier in the spring that great things were going to happen surrounding this football program. That it was going to be a great time and great ride to be a Red Wolf.

"Wow" how right he was.

Can you believe all of this excitement and energy surrounding this program and Malzahn hasn't even coached a down yet.

He is building an arsenal of weapons to release on his opponents this fall, all I can say is Sun Belt Conference get ready. Oh what the heck, Oregon and Nebraska get ready, Arkansas State and Gus Malzahn are coming to town, you better be ready for this Red Wolf team this fall.