He is a descendent of African royalty, but all Timi Oshinowo wants to do is protect the leader of his football team.
The 6-7, 280-pound offensive lineman from Naperville (Ill.) Neuqua Valley High School is a second-generation American after his parents made the move from Nigeria to the United States to give him and his siblings a better life. His grandfather was a chief in their home town in Nigeria.
Timi has made a name for himself in the U.S. for his prowess on the football field. He's considered one of the top linemen in the state of Illinois, someone the IU staff has been showing interest in.
While football will weigh into Oshinowo's decision, academics are also very important to the Oshinowo family. Both of Timi's parents are doctors and his brother Babatunde, graduated from Stanford with a degree in Electrical Engineering and is currently working on his Master's while playing nose tackle for the Cardinal.
"I would like to study to be a biomedical engineer," said Oshinowo. "My brother plays football at Stanford and he majored in electrical engineering. He told me it's hard, but it's very possible to do. Because of him it's not something I'm worried about."
The Oshinowo family is a very close-nit group. Babatunde listed his parents as the people who had the greatest influence on his life and his brother Timi as the person he admires most in his Stanford media guide profile. Timi has grown up watching both of his siblings balance athletics in college and been able to get a taste of college by watching them.
"My sister used to throw the shot put and the discus for the Illinois track team," said Oshinowo. "I got to see most of the Big Ten when we would go watch her meets."
Oshinowo currently has no favorite school, only one offer and is leaving the door wide open for the time being.
"So far I only have an offer from Duke University," said Oshinowo. "I have gotten interest from Stanford, Indiana, Northwestern, Illinois, Wisconsin and Purdue. I don't one school that sticks out right now. All the schools that have shown interest in me are all still on my list."
Something complicating the decision is a lack of official visits.
"I have no official visits planned and I don't really know which ones I will be going to see yet," said Oshinowo. "I hope to make it to a few games during the year, but I don't know which ones I'll make it to."
Indiana coach Terry Hoeppner and his staff have shown interest in Oshinowo and Oshinowo still has interest in IU. He did get a chance to see the Indiana campus during the summer.
"I went on an unofficial visit to Indiana in July and got to know Coach Bill Lynch pretty well," said Oshinowo. "He showed me the campus and the facilities. He talked to me about how important academics are at Indiana and introduced me to one of the academic advisors the players have. It was a really nice campus and I liked the facilities. I really liked the weight room they had. It was nice."
"They told me they are looking for a lot of offensive linemen to fill the depth charts and should be able to make an offer soon."
Oshinowo is hoping to help his Naperville Neuqua Valley Wildcats team improve on an 8-2 campaign in 2004. Two games into the season the team is sitting at 1-1 after a 33-14 win over Naperville North and a 21-14 loss to Plainfield Central.
"We won first game and lost the next," said Oshinowo. "But I haven't allowed a sack or a tackle for a loss yet."
Note: Oshinowo is a good friend of highly-touted Naperville North linebacker Osahon Tongo, another IU recruiting target. Both have roots in Nigeria and have been friends since childhood.
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