After producing several All-Americans at the tight end position, fans have become accustomed to the Missouri Tiger coaching staff just plugging in the next player at that spot.
The Tiger coaching staff is looking for that next potential prospect who could fit that role in the 2012 recruiting class.
ShowMeMizzou.com has learned of one such prospect who will be coming to Columbia for an unofficial visit on Wednesday in Edmond (OK) Santa Fe TE/DE Mike Onuoha 6'7" 230 (4.6 forty) that is on the staff's radar.
ShowMeMizzou.com spoke to Onuoha (rhymes with Aloha) about his upcoming visit, interest in the Tigers and about his overall recruitment recently.
"I am going up to Missouri this Wednesday," said Onuoha. "I have been talking with Coach (Josh) Henson a lot. They said they really like my size and athleticism and want me to come up and check things out up there, so that's what I am going to do. I hope to pick up an offer from them."
Onuoha, who does not currently have any offers, is also being recruited by Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa, is familiar with Missouri's football program and especially the way they use the players at the positions he is being recruited at.
"I really like Missouri's schemes both on offense and defense. I like the way they use their tight ends and the way they play and get them the ball . Anyone who plays TE would love to play in that offense and I can see myself do that there. I also like how their defensive ends are used and I know they put one in the 1st round of the NFL draft last year. That is my ultimate goal, to make it to the league and I want to go to a school that can help get me there. I know they have good coaches and a good education program,too," he said.
So does Onuoha has a preference about which side of the ball he plays?
"I like both," he said. "I like making the play with the ball in my hands on offense. I really like hitting people and getting to the QB for the sack. I might want to try DE at first, but really whatever position the coaches think would be best for me I am fine with."
Onuoha has only recently started focusing on football as his main sport. He has spent most of the first 3 years of his high school career focusing on basketball both for his high school team and on the AAU circuit. Now he realizes that football is his future.
" I just realized that football was my sport last year. I thought basketball was my game and would take me to a high level of college, but I now know that football will give me the chance to play at a high level both in college and possibly in the pros."
At 6'7" 230lbs and running the 40 in the upper 4.5's to 4.6 range and with with a 35" vertical jump and lift maxes of 290lbs in the bench and 600lbs in the squat, Onuoha has the athleticism that schools like Missouri and the others are willing to take a chance on despite there not being a long track record on the football field.
Mike has visited OU and plans to check out his other schools recruiting him as well.
He is hoping for an offer from the Missouri Tigers along with other schools recruiting him and hopes that more offers will come his way once his senior season starts and schools can see what he can do on the field.
He has set a timeline for when he would like to make a decision by.
"I really hope to be able to make a decision sometime around mid-season depending on what kind of offers I have. I want to take a couple of official visits to the schools I like the most and then commit," he said.
ShowMeMizzou.com will follow up with Mike Onuoha following his unofficial visit to Missouri and continue to follow his recruitment.
Update: Mike Onuoha will be coming in for his unofficial visit on Thursday now instead of Wednesday due to a scheduling conflict with his transportation.