For Albert High (Midwest City, Okla.) athlete David Oku, the bar for success is set really high. After a junior campaign in which he wowed fans and scouts alike, he still fell short of his own expectations.
“We lost in the quarters,” Oku said flatly. “It was good season, but it wasn’t great. The season is not great unless you win the state championship, so it wasn’t a great season. Individually, I went for 200 more yards than I did last year so that was good. But the horrible part was I sat out two games with an ankle injury. So like I said, it wasn’t a great season”
Many observers might disagree. On the year Oku he rushed for 1.628 yards and 20 touchdowns en route to earning All-City honors for the third consecutive season. One might wonder how he was able to compile better numbers in fewer games last season. To Oku the answer is simple; more big plays.
“I have great awareness,” replied Oku when asked to describe his game. “I have speed, open field acceleration, good hands, I’m real quick, and can shed tackles really easily. I’m a home run threat.”
Anyone with doubts about just how fast the youngster is need only ask him if he has ever been caught from behind.
“No,” Oku said emphatically. “Never caught from behind. Not one time. I can guarantee that (laughing).”
Oku’s film backs up those assertions, and numerous college coaches have definitely taken note of his big play ability, Schools have been pursuing him since he was a sophomore, and the interest has been steadily growing ever since.
“The first (offer) I got was in February of last year and that was from Auburn,” he recalled. “I think I have 11 or 12 offers now. I just received another offer. I think it was Monday when I received my offer from Michigan. I sent my film up there and Coach Hopson said they looked everything over and they liked it.”
Oku fits the mold of the newly emphasized slot receiver in Michigan’s offense, but he is also a dynamic player out of the backfield. At this point, which position he would play in Ann Arbor looks to be a bit up in the air.
“I haven’t talked to them that much yet,” said Oku. “They were just saying running back, but when we talk more I’m sure we’ll discuss all of that.”
One factor that Oku is already talking to various schools about is the opportunity to contribute early in his career.
“You don’t want to go where they have seven or eight running backs,” Oku explained. “I don’t want to go a place where most likely in my first year I’m going to redshirt. I want to get in, compete, and see if I can do what I can do. If I’m away from home, I just want to be around a coach that is like a father figure. Not somebody that is there to wake you up and stuff like that because you have to do that on your own… but somebody that’s not going to just get you there to play football, but will watch after you at the same time and make sure you do the right thing. I don’t care where it is as long as it fits me. My mom already said she wants me to see other parts of the world. She’s been in 48 states so she has seen other stuff. She said she can’t make my decision for me, but she wants me to get out of Oklahoma and really look at everything closely.”
Learning which programs fit those criteria will be one of Oku’s primary objectives when he begins visiting many of the programs he is currently considering. That said, don’t expect him to take visits or make a decision anytime soon.
“I will probably just end up waiting until the summer time and doing camps,” Oku said regarding when he’ll begin taking visits. “I’ve been talking about going to camp at USC and Coach Hopson has been talking about getting me to come to camp at Michigan. Also, Florida State is another place I might camp. So I’ve got to make some money so I can do all of these trips (laughing). I’m just waiting to get offers from all of the schools that I want to hear from before I actually start really looking into recruiting. I’m waiting on LSU, USC, Oregon, and maybe someone else. After I get offers from all of the schools that I want then I’ll really start sitting down with my mom and looking into everything. I’ll start making cuts during the summer time. I’ll probably make my decision during the season.”
“Everything is even right now,” continued Oku regarding the schools on his list. “After I get all of my offers, I’m going to go into the summer time and start cutting everything down. Right now I’m focusing on academics to make sure I qualify because I really don’t want to have to go to JUCO or something. That’s another reason why I’m waiting to focus on recruiting during the summer time…so I can focus on academics right now.”