Olenga: "It Feels Good"

NC State commitment Emmanuel Olenga is still learning the game of football, but that hasn't stopped him from producing on the gridiron.

NC State commitment Emmanuel Olenga is still learning the game of football but that hasn't stopped him from producing on the gridiron.

"I only played football my sophomore and my senior year," said Olenga. "For me to show people that I'm talented was a good thing. I work hard for it."

Olenga had a breakout senior season for Charlotte (NC) Olympic High School. He totaled 105 tackles, 16 quarterback sacks, and forced five fumbles from his defensive end position.

"It was a really good year," he stated. "But, I know there are some things I can work on. My pad level... I need to work on that. I can sometimes play too high, and I'm still developing. I need to become more violent with my hands, that's what I want to work on.

"I think my get-off is what I do best. I can get off the ball, I have good speed and power."

Despite the production, Olenga flew under the recruiting radar. East Carolina was his main suitor for much of his senior season, and he rewarded the Pirates with a commitment in December.

However, NC State and other programs were taking notice, and when he showed after his first semester that his academics were in order, the offers followed. NC State, Nebraska, Wake Forest, llinois, Indiana, Charlotte, Miami (Ohio), and Old Dominion among others extended scholarship offers.

"It felt great," he said of the offers. "I'm really blessed and grateful for the position I'm in."

NC State assistant Eddie Faulkner convinced Olenga to visit the Wolfpack in mid-January, a trip that he's glad he made.

"I liked everything about it," Olenga said of the trip. "There wasn't really anything in particular... it was all great.

"I got to spend time with the players and Johnny Frasier was up there with me. I knew him, and he decided to make the same decision as me."

That decision? Commit to NC State. Olenga flipped from East Carolina to the Wolfpack while on his trip.

"I knew it was where I wanted to be at. Coach Doeren was real happy, all the coaches were. He's a good guy. He keeps it real... he's real honest."

Olenga added that he really bonded with defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen.

"The stuff he showed me was amazing," he said of Nielsen. "I just feel comfortable around him. He told me that they want me to come in and try to make an impact. They want me to work hard and be ready when I get there."

Nielsen has to be impressed with Olenga's tools. He's still raw but checks in at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds with a 6-foot-10 wingspan. He is explosive and has been timed as low as 4.7 in the 40-yard dash.

"I'm not where I want to be," said Olenga. "But, I think I can get there."

Nebraska tried to get him to take an official visit, but he maintained that his recruitment was over and declined.

"It feels good. Now I can relax a little and stay focused on the most important thing, which is getting ready for college. It took a lot of hard work, and I'm happy I'm here and ready to prove that I deserve this chance."

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