Committed and still working hard

It's not an inferiority complex that Collins Okafor has, but there is some sense of need to show that he belongs in a Nebraska jersey. It's not to anyone really specific, except himself. He wants to become the best possible player that he can be and he is working hard to do it. Okafor, who committed to Nebraska last year, is solid as ever and can't wait to be a Husker.

Collins Okafor hasn't allowed himself to rest now knowing that he will get to be a Husker. In fact, the 6-foot-1 and 208-pound running back from Omaha (Nebr.) Westside has been working harder than ever.

"I've been working out," Okafor said. "I've been working out with Niles Paul, running track and working out with the coordinator here."

This will be Okafor's first stab ever at the 100m, an even that just became a little tougher in the state of Nebraska. Okafor wants the chance though to go up against the best.

"I am running the 100m in track this year. This will be my first time ever to run a 100m. Last year I ran the 200m, 400m and the relays."

"It really wasn't a great year for me in track last year. I did better as a freshman because I just came off of an injury. I am ready to go this year."

"Yeah, Niles Paul is running the 100m this year. Finally I can see how my training was and see if I can compete. Honestly, I have been waiting for this chance."

Some might immediately hang their head considering Paul throwing his hat into the 100m ring, but not Okafor. He drew a parallel to Paul and is now looking forward to the challenge.

"When I found out that I was running second in the 4x100m, and Niles ran it too, I was excited. Finally I can see if I compare."

All of this work though is supposed to help out eventually on the gridiron. Okafor says that with a little time, after his first season as a starter, he is still a work in progress.

"Last year was really my first year starting on varsity. I really needed this time to polish everything up. I finished the first coat of wax after washing the car and starting on the second. It's still not perfect yet."

The scholarship has provided Okafor with a little incentive in how he should play the game. It might be a bulls eye on his back by some, but Okafor wears it proudly because he is capable of the attention.

"When I first started, I had this little timid side to the way that I played. Now, since I have my scholarship, I have a confidence that I didn't have before. I know that I am good enough."

While the offer and the commitment have given Okafor a bit of confidence, he doesn't view the offer or the commitment as a goal being achieved.

"I wouldn't call the offer or the commitment a load off of me, the load actually got a little heavier. Now I have to work to get ready to compete at the next level."

Between working out and track, Okafor is planning at least a couple of trips to Lincoln. He isn't planning on any combines or camps as of now. "I am going to go to the Nebraska spring game and I am going to try and make it to at least one spring practice."

Big Red Report Top Stories