2015 Target: Emmanuel Olenga

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- North Carolina is among the schools that are intrigued by Emmanuel Olenga, a 6-foot-4, 232-pound defensive end from Olympic High School. That intrigue has already prompted Tennessee to offer.

Scouting Report

"His two best assets: he has such quick twitch off the line of scrimmage and also his strength," Gerald Reed, who coached the AFC Rangers last season and also coached Olenga in middle school, said. "He's very strong.

"He needs some work as far as hands and also technique. He has a tendency to rush up the field too much. Those are small things that can be fixed with coaching and he really hasn't had a lot of consistency and stability with his coaching.

"But you can't teach size and you can't teach that speed off the edge and he definitely has that explosiveness off the edge."

At the Nike Combine in late February, Olenga clocked an electric-timed 4.95-second 40-yard dash and 4.75-second 20-yard shuttle. He also vertically jumped 30.4 inches.

Prep Career

Olenga has been enrolled at Olympic since his freshman year, but elected to play football for the Airborne for Christ Rangers, a team primarily made up of homeschooled players, during his junior season.

"I just decided to play for AFC Rangers to get better exposure, I guess," Olenga said. "I don't regret my decision at all."

Obviously, the AFC Rangers' schedule was a drop in competition from that of Olympic's. As a result, Olenga dominated to the tune of 2.3 sacks and eight tackles per game.

As a sophomore, Olenga started opposite of North Carolina signee Robert Dinkins at end.

"We made a powerful defensive line," Olenga said.

For the coming season, Olenga will return to Olympic's roster, which changed head coaches this offseason (from Barry Shuford to Keith Wilkes).


Two weeks ago, while in Knoxville for Tennessee's Junior Day, the Volunteers coaching staff extended Olenga his first scholarship offer. He's also receiving interest from Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Olenga is in regular contact with Gunter Brewer, who recruits the Charlotte area for UNC.

"They're really interested, it's just I have to keep my head on straight and I have to keep working and they'll offer soon," Olenga said. "[Brewer] is talking about [keeping my head on straight] overall – academically and athletically."

That Tennessee trip was the only post-football season trip that Olenga has made, but he visited both UNC and NC State during the season for games.

"I liked the facilities and I also like the atmosphere," Olenga said of UNC. "And I believe it could be a good program and a good spot for me."

Olenga plans to be at Ardrey Kell High School on Friday night for UNC's scrimmage. He's also working on scheduling a campus visit some time this spring.

Tennessee is Olenga's leader, while Clemson, Florida State, and UNC are among the schools "sticking out."

"Tennessee is my first – and only – offer," Olenga said. "But all those schools, I like their history athletically and academically. And I like those coaching staffs"

UNC has an ace in the hole – Dinkins.

"We're very close," Olenga said. "He's like my brother and he always gives me advice when things get hard and when things don't seem like they're going my way. He tells me to keep faith. He's been like an older brother."

Dinkins has also given Olenga plenty of recruiting pitches about UNC.

"He just tells me it's a good program and the coaches will be straight with you and keep it honest with you," Olenga said.

Extra Notes

Olenga was a member of Olympic's basketball and track teams as a sophomore, but gave up both sports to focus on football… Olenga said he grew up a Clemson fan, because it was the first college he saw play on television.

Emmanuel Olenga Profile

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