Slowly but surely the word is getting out about Levi Onwuzurike. The 6-3, 243 lb. defensive end is noticing the interest in him rising by the day. It turns out that the trajectory of his recruitment is mirroring that of his junior campaign.
“The season started out pretty shaky,” Onwuzurike admitted. “I wasn’t really used to the varsity environment, but once I got that first tackle everything kind of came normal to me and started becoming fun. Once playoffs hit, that’s when it really kicked in and I was just loving playing the game.”
“I finished with 67 tackles, 5.5 sacks and I think three forced fumbles.”
Some coaches have told Onwuzurike that he is just scratching the surface of what he can be. He shares that opinion and is committed to working toward taking his game to a higher level.
“I am a run stopper, (but) probably would need more work at pass rush a little bit,” he said. “But I can also do that too. And I’ve got speed.”
Michigan certainly believes in potential. So too does TCU, Baylor, Duke, Texas Tech, Stanford, SMU, Boston College, Washington. The man keying the Wolverines’ effort to beat out those other programs is defensive line coach Greg Mattison.
“I talked to Coach Mattison after he came down three weeks ago, but I was thinking they were just coming to see a couple of players,” Onwuzurike said. “I wasn’t really expecting an offer.”
“He is obviously a fun guy. I think he has a lot of experience and is pretty intelligent.”
That said, other coaches have made similarly positive impressions.
“I wouldn’t say (there are any favorites) right now,” said Onwuzurike. “I’ve never really had a dream college,” he said. “I base everything off visits, so I would say I don’t really have a preference right now.”
“(The decision will come down to education), the environment, weather, defense. The defensive formations and how they move their defenses.”
The criterion that would seem to be a limiting factor for Michigan is weather, but Onwuzurike downplayed its significance compared to the other considerations.
“There are a lot of factors that I’m taking into going into college and weather is one of them, but it is not a deciding factor,” he said. “It is not a big percentage. It is not anything like defense.”
The four-star DE is fairly adamant about his schematic preference.
“I want to play in a 4-3,” he said.
Learning more about Michigan’s attack and getting to know its coaches are among Onwuzurike’s recruiting priorities. Doing so will largely be a function of getting up on a visit.
“Yeah they talked to me about trying to get up there in the spring and summer. That’s something I’m trying to do, but financially not sure if I’ll get there. We’ll see.”
Fortunately for the Maize & Blue the talented youngster isn’t in any rush to make a decision
“I’m not sure (when I’ll commit to a school) but it’s definitely going to be after the high school season.”