Plenty to Decipher

Toben Opurum has a lot to figure out regarding recruiting, but for the next three weeks, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound running back from Plano (Texas) East High has his college future on the backburner.

The next few weeks are all about turning the year around and making the state playoffs.

"We got to win the last three to make it in," Toben Opurum said.

Though the season hasn't gone the way Opurum drew it up, he has certainly garnered a lot of recruiting interest dating back to last fall.

Notre Dame was one of the programs to send Opurum a written scholarship offer after he proved he is just as dangerous of a receiving threat as a running threat. As a junior, Opurum carried the ball 99 times for 600 yards (6.06 ypc) and four touchdowns, and also had 27 receptions for 574 yards and another six scores.

Opurum spoke with Charlie Weis about his offer many months ago.

"He said they're looking at finding another big back to step in, in the place of people they have graduating," Opurum said.

Many other scholarship offers have come in for Opurum, who wants a chance to play halfback on the next level. Kansas, Purdue, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Arkansas have told Opurum he will have that opportunity, and those are a few of the schools he's still considering.

"I'm looking to play running back first," Opurum said. "If I do choose to play fullback, then Notre Dame is one of the schools I'm considering."

So is Florida and LSU.

The Gators have told Opurum that they need a big back to complement the scat backs that they have. LSU, like Notre Dame, tells Opurum how he fits in as a fullback in its system.

"A lot of people say they like my combination of strength and speed, it's something that's not common," Opurum explained. He runs the 40-yard dash in the 4.5 range and bench presses 350 pounds. "They like my versatility to play as a back or a receiver out of the backfield."

Irish assistant coach Rob Ianello visited Plano East High last week, and the two have been in touch once a week for months.

"I just know they're a real competitive school and they have a lot of exposure to the public, and everyone has been a big fan of the Irish, and they have a real quality education program there."

Once his football season ends, Opurum knows he's going to have to quickly decide whether halfback or fullback is his future.

"I don't know," Opurum said. "I guess it just depends on how the end of the season goes, and the best school I can choose, and how I fit in on the next level."

Opurum has yet to take any of his five official visits.

"I really don't know at this point because I'm staying focused on my team," Opurum said of possible destinations. "I'm looking for a school I fit in best with the players and coaches."

Opurum has a 3.4 GPA, and also isn't sure of what he wants to major in.

One thing is for sure, Opurum does know he has plenty of options to sort through. He'll be on it hopefully later than sooner.


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