At 6'-3", 175 pounds, Amba Etta-Tawo is the type of tall pass-catcher that Paul Petrino makes into an offensive weapon. Etta-Tawo didn't get the ball much this past season, but when he did he was very effective. He hopes for even more out of himself and his team this coming season.
"My team, we did good, but I think we can do a lot better. Myself, all the opportunities I got, I had to share the ball a lot with all of our skill players."
As a senior at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia, Etta-Tawo knows he will be relied upon heavily, and for good reason. He is one of a few returning starters from last year's team and will be a big target for his quarterback.
"My role is going to be even bigger. We graduated a lot of guys, and it's really only me and one other guy coming back to be the leaders."
Etta's height makes him a serious red zone threat, but his game is much more well-rounded than that. For a taller guy, he moves well in space and is elusive.
"I think I'm really good with a jump ball and can move pretty well through small spaces. My hips are really loose, and I have good ability to flip my hips."
He knows that in college, he'll have to run his routes with more discipline. He's working on that aspect of his game going into his senior year.
"I need to get better with my route running I guess. Just being more crisp and coming off the breaks better."
He averaged 20 yards per catch and a touchdown every four catches. Not too shabby.
"I had about 35 catches for 700 yards, and I think 9 touchdowns. I'm the guy who goes up and gets it. I was used a lot in the red zone especially."
Right now, Etta-Tawo has a single college scholarship offer, but he's hoping to pick up a few more and have some options.
"I have one offer so far from Illinois. I'm getting a lot of interest from Georgia Tech, Clemson, and Vanderbilt."
Etta-Tawo has formed a bond with the Illinois coaches, but he also has another bond that could come into play when it comes to recruiting.
"With Illinois, I have a good relationship with the coaches. My brother went up to Clemson to play there."
At Illinois, Etta-Tawo is being pursued by tight ends coach Chip Long, who has known him for quite some time.
"I actually met Coach Long when I was younger since he recruited my brother to go to Clemson. He said they're going to get the ball to me a lot, and it's the Big Ten so they want to move the ball a lot."
Etta-Tawo hopes to make the trek to Champaign to see the Illini up close and personal and meet the entire coaching staff. A spring visit would be tough to schedule given the distance, so Amba will more than likely drop in this summer.
"I'm trying to get up there as soon as I can. I'm not really sure when yet. Probably it'll be this summer instead of the spring."
The Illinois offer is definitely appealing to Etta-Tawo. However, he's hoping to be close to family in college.
"Really, I'm waiting for the right opportunity. If I can I'd like to stay close to home. I mean I have one (offer) on the table now. Illinois is a good school, and I can take advantage of that if more offers don't come in. Most likely, if a school like Georgia Tech offers they'll be higher since it's closer to my house."
Illinois will still continue to pursue the talented wideout regardless, hoping the distance from his home won't be a deal-breaker.