Vols offer stuns Olenga

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Uncultivated. Unrefined. Raw.

All are terms that could be used to describe an athletic high school football prospect that hasn't come close to tapping into his full potential.

All are reoccurring terms used to describe Emmanuel Olenga , who is a 6-foot-5, 240-pound defender from Charlotte, N.C.

The coaching staff at Tennessee sees something in the Scout three-star and the Volunteers were the first to place a scholarship offer on the table.

"I was just stunned and I was happy for the offer. It was my first," Olenga told InsideTennessee.

Leading Olenga's recruitment from the Rocky Top end of things are tight ends coach Mark Elder, defensive line coach Steve Stripling and defensive graduate assistant Larry Knight.

"I love the coaches. If I had to choose today, they would be my No. 1 pick," said Olenga, who patterns his game after New York Giants defensive end and Pro Bowler Jason Pierre-Paul.

Tennessee is not the only school in pursuit of Olenga. The prospect says he's hearing from a "bunch" of schools.

Clemson and North Carolina are two Atlantic Coast Conference schools that could be next to pull the trigger. West Virginia has had conversations with Olenga about playing outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

A car ride west to Knoxville from the Tar Heel State is on the agenda: "I'm planning on taking a trip there really soon."

No other unofficial visits have been planned.

After competing for the Airborne for Christ Rangers last season and averaging 2.3 sacks per game, Olenga will play for Olympic (N.C.) High School this fall. He has been laser-timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.95 seconds with a 4.75 shuttle.

Olenga competed at the NIKE Football Training Camp in Charlotte last weekend.

"I think I did OK. I can do better," said Olenga, who's been playing football since fourth grade.

Scout director of scouting Scott Kennedy saw Olenga compete last weekend and had this to say: "An intense competitor, Olenga showed good quickness on the edge and a willingness to be physical against bigger offensive tackles. Looks like he gets by with power at the high school level and had to adjust his game against the better competition at the NIKE Camp."

Have a look at Olenga in action in Charlotte in the Scout video below:

Discuss Olenga's talent with InsideTennessee analysts and subscribers by clicking here.

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the Scout team July 2011.
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