Not long ago Chaparral High School (CA) cornerback prospect Michael Onyemaobi received a scholarship offer from the BYU coaching staff. The offer came after Onyemaobi read some prescribed information about the standards found at the university. However, by the time BYU got back to Onyemaobi he had already committed to Cal.
“The offer from BYU is a big one for me,” Onyemaobi said. “I was looking forward to it when they started recruiting me a couple of months back but they didn’t pull the trigger for a while. They wanted me to look over and go over all the morals and the standards that you live by when you attend BYU, and see if I could live and abide by. After I did that I emailed Coach Gilford that I did that and could live by them. That was when I ended up committing to Cal back in May on my trip [there].
“I got the offer from BYU on [August 1st] and that’s when Coach Gilford ended up getting back to me that very same day letting me know that they were sorry for getting the offer out so late. He wasn’t sure why it took so long.”
However, that doesn’t mean everything is set in stone. Onyemaobi is taking a look at BYU along with a few other college options just to make sure his commit to Cal is the right fit for him. He’s attracted to BYU because of the moral values and Christian standards that are found and fostered on campus.
“Yeah, the reason why I like BYU is because there’s a religious environment attached to it, so it does attract me because my dad is a pastor,” Onyemaobi said. “The standards and atmosphere coincides with my standards, so being in an area like that with the same type of people, and that kind of coaching staff, and people on campus would make me feel more at home being a Christian.”
Onyemaobi is taking a methodical approach to his recruiting. He’s wiping away all the glitter and gold and taking a grassroots approach in order to see what kind of value his scholarships have. He has a few things he’s looking for.
“I think it all comes down to a couple of things,” Onyemaobi said. “Education is a big one for me. That’s a big one first and foremost. Secondly, I also want to come in and play early. The third thing is I want to be close enough to home that my parents can come fly out and catch my games or a game when it comes close to home.
“A big thing that I can add is I don’t want to commit to a school just because of their coaching staff,” Onyemaobi said. “I’ve seen what that does to recruits when coaches come and go. I want to base my commit on how it’s going to benefit me, and so I want to base my commit on what the university is going to do to benefit me. I just want to make sure I get the best value out of my scholarship. At the end of the day I want to know what a college degree is going to do for me.”
With a BYU offer now on the table, Onyemaobi is thinking me might use up his fifth official visit slot to take a trip out to BYU to get a better look at that option.
“Yeah, that could potentially happen,” Onyemaobi said. “I have four official trips set up and an extra slot open, so I’m thinking I might take an official trip to BYU. I’m kind of bouncing back and forth on a couple of schools, but BYU is a school that I’m definitely thinking about taking an official visit to.”
If the decision to take an official trip to BYU does occur, Onyemaobi will be reunited with an old friend who is currently on BYU’s roster. BYU wide receiver Aleva Hifo and Onyemaobi played together on the same passing league that competed in Las Vegas. Onyemaobi became close with Hifo during that time and knows he’s now playing at BYU.
“He’s an incredible athlete to be honest with you,” Onyemaobi said. “I mean, I remember when we first met up at Las Vegas. I thought that was the cleanest route running I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I mean his route running was razor sharp and the best I’ve ever seen.
“Then he also has such a high football I.Q., which makes him that much more of an incredible football player on the field. Then on top of that he’s such a good kid. He’s not that vocal type kid like the rest, but I remember in Las Vegas when Aleva got slammed to the ground in the semi-finals game. He got slammed and the whole team got really down about that. He got up and played it cool and walked it off while the rest of the team was ready to fight. He’s a really cool kid. He’s a real humble guy.”
Hifo is currently playing wide receiver at BYU, where those same sharp routes are now coming in handy.
“Yeah, they should have him at wide receiver and I was shocked when he first told me that BYU was recruiting him as a cornerback,” said Onyemaobi. “He’s such a smart kid and runs some of the best routes I’ve ever seen, so when he told me that they were recruiting him as a cornerback I was a little shocked. It’s good to hear that they moved him back to receiver because Aleva can run. It would be good to see him again.”