Obomanu Just Looking For A Chance

Mobile, Ala.--Wide receiver Ben Obomanu was the valedictorian of Selma High School and he graduated from Auburn in only three years so being as smart as he is the talented wide receiver says he knows that the odds are somewhat stacked against him when it comes to the NFL Draft in April.

However, he adds that it is not a worry to him as long as he gets a chance to live out a dream. "I just want to have a chance to play in the NFL," he says. "So, draft or no draft, either way it goes, if get a chance to play I will be satisfied."

For Obomanu, the first step to the goal was being added to the South Team roster as a late addition to take part in this week's Senior Bowl.

"It is a great compliment for them to try and get me in this game," he says. "I know it is kind of late in the season, but they said it is a good opportunity for me to come out here and showcase my skills so I am grateful for that opportunity and this whole week has just been fun.

"The main thing that all of us have been trying to do is just showcase our talents, not do too much, not take away from anything, but at the same time just go out and play football, the same thing that has gotten us this far."

Obomanu has been busy this weekend in Mobile. He and the rest of the all-stars will compete in the all-star game that will be televised at 3 p.m.on Saturday by ESPN.

He adds that getting placed on the Senior Bowl roster has helped him in his quest for the NFL because a number of pro teams have spent a good bit of time getting to know him this week. "The Eagles, the Dolphins, the Redskins, the Saints, there are a lot of different teams I have talked to," he says. "A lot of people are just going to do interviews any way just to see what kind of person you are and compare you to other people so it has been fun just to have the chance to do some interviews."

Along with having the opportunity to take part in Saturday's contest at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Obomanu, much like the four other Auburn players in the game, has gotten to go through the experience with some of his closest friends.

"It is exciting," he explains about playing with Devin Aromashodu, Anthony Mix, Marcus McNeill and Travis Williams one last time. "It makes it a little easier and it takes some of the pressure off, too. We are all learning from each other because we realize that we are going to watch each other and know the things that we need to do to become a better player. It is fun and plus it takes some of that nervousness off because you can just laugh and joke with the guys you have been with for four years."

The biggest challenges for Obomanu and the other wide receivers at the Senior Bowl have been adjusting to the way the '49ers like for their wideouts to run routes, and working with a tough veteran position coach like Jerry Sullivan, who has been coaching in the NFL for 14 years.

Obomanu was a key player for four seasons at Auburn.

"It was new to us, of course," Obomanu says. "The NFL runs their routes a little differently, and the '49ers run their routes a little differently from what we have been taught and all of the receivers are trying to make an adjustment to the new things that we were learning," he says.

"At the same time a coach will be a coach," Obomanu adds. "Some people think that it is an all-star game so they are going to take it easy on us, but it is still football and we have got to play and the coaches have to coach."

However, despite having to work hard and learn on the fly, Obomanu says he feels like he did a good job during the week of practice. "I believe I did pretty well," he says. "Based on the way we were doing things just one or two little things needed to be redefined in order to do the techniques that they want. I believe I handled it pretty well and made strides each day I came out."

Still, despite the practices being very serious with potential pro careers in the balance, Obomanu says getting out on the field and playing football is his favorite part of the Senior Bowl experience. "I know some of the guys probably joke and say it is all of that testing we have been doing, but the best part has been being out here on this field competing," he says.

"Once you get out on the field you don't really worry about scouts and people in the stands and the draft and all of that stuff," he adds. "You just go out there and play and that has been the best part."


Premium Subscription Signup

Subscribe to Magazine Only


Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories