UNC Offers Emerging Georgia Athlete

North Carolina is the latest school to offer Kene Orjioke, a 6-foot-4, 217-pound athlete from Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter, who wasn't on most recruiting boards until recently.

"I knew [UNC] was interested in me, but I thought they were going to wait until after the season to offer me," Orjioke said. "When I talked to Coach Joe [Robinson], he asked me if I was going to wait to make a decision until after the season was over. I thought he was inferring that he was going to offer me after the season ended. He told my coach and I found out from my coach."

Georgia Tech, Mississippi, and NC State have also offered Orjioke, while Arizona State, Auburn, Duke, and Louisville have expressed significant interest.

"Most of the attention has come within the last week and a half, two weeks," Orjioke said. "I don't really think about it much. I'm more worried about my season than anything else. I have plenty of time after the football season to worry about it."

A recent cross-country move coupled with an injury that ended his junior season prematurely has allowed Orjioke to escape the recruiting spotlight until recently. The 16-year old senior moved from Irvine, Calif. in July when his mother, a physician, accepted a job in Georgia. A native of Nigeria, Orjioke has also lived in Australia and Chicago.

It only took one game for Orjioke to grab the attention of college recruiters – a 14-6 victory over defending state champions Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood where Orjioke had nine tackles. He followed that up with seven tackles, a blocked punt, and an interception in Lassiter's second game, a 45-14 victory over Marietta (Ga.) Sprayberry.

"In my last game, I took a guy's helmet off on one of my hits," Orjioke said.

Orjioke began hearing from Robinson roughly a week ago.

"He's a really good guy, really personable, and really easy to get along with," Orjioke said. "We were talking about UNC, school, [and] football. We talked about if I'd be willing to go to UNC. I said, ‘Yeah – it's a really good school, it's a good football team, and it's an NFL factory.'"

Last weekend, Orjioke visited Auburn. He has also previously visited Georgia Tech. This weekend, he plans to either return to Auburn or make a visit to Duke with teammate Eddie Printz, a 2013 quarterback who already has several Division I-A offers.

Orjioke figures to make a trip to UNC, but doesn't have any solid plans. "I heard the campus is gorgeous and it's a really good school academically," Orjioke said. "So I want to visit. I was really excited when they offered – really, really excited."

Orjioke starts at safety for Lassiter, but could play nearly any defensive position on the collegiate level. With that said, NC State has offered him as an athlete, Georgia Tech as a free safety, and Mississippi sees him as a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end. Orjioke says he and Robinson haven't discussed positions, but he assumes UNC likes him as either an outside linebacker or safety.

"I don't have a [position] preference," Orjioke said. "As long as we win games and I get on the field, I'm happy.

"All I really care about is an easy transition to the school, winning games, and me being happy."

Kene Orjioke

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