Cowboys Get Metroplex Defender

The telephone call had to come sometime around the end of practice in Stillwater on Tuesday afternoon and head coach Mike Gundy had to be smiling all the way back into the football building and the West End Zone. Linebacker Jeremiah Tshimanga (pronounced Chi-man-ga) from North Richland Hills (Richland), Texas, called to tell Gundy he was committing to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

"Yes, I committed to Oklahoma State tonight," said Tshimanga over the phone. "I talked to Coach Gundy and told him and I had talked to my family.

"Really, I had two schools that had offered me that were my top two offers and schools that I felt I could call home. I could see myself at those two and they were Texas A&M and OSU. Texas A&M had been recruiting me since my sophomore year and they are filling up their recruiting class and they told me they had what they needed. Oklahoma State was my second choice and I know I can call it home."

It sounds like Oklahoma State is getting the 6-3, 226-pound linebacker, that could end up growing some more, on a rebound, and in a way they are. However, Tshimanga, who is a native of the Congo and moved to the United States with his family when he was three, stresses the home part when it comes to Oklahoma State and his decision.

"I can see myself as a player on their defense.," said Tshimanga. "I can't see myself going somewhere like Oregon and playing there. I see myself at Oklahoma State.

"Coach (Glenn) Spencer and Coach (Bill) Young were recruiting me. I prayed about this and I talked to my (high school) coaches and it was time for me to make a decision. I wanted to take the stress off of me before I take my ACT.

"I had been to A&M the last several summers for the state 7-on-7, and I've been to Oklahoma State about four times and both places were perfect," added Tshimanga.

Tshimanga was named second-team All District 6-5A this past season after a strong year where he averaged close to eight tackles a game and was very active on a defense that also included recent OSU signee and incoming freshman linebacker Nico Ornelas.

As a sophomore, Tshimanga had 37 tackles and began getting a lot of attention for his overall athleticism. He runs a 4.6 in the forty. He had offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Michigan, and Texas Tech in addition to Oklahoma State. He was also being actively recruited by the likes of Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, Oregon, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Texas.

"Knowing Nico made it more comfortable, but I know players at a lot of schools and everybody was talking to me," said Tshimanga. "I know other schools would offer like Auburn, but it is time for me to be focused."

He becomes the fourth commitment for Oklahoma State in the 2012 class.


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