Onyenegecha beginning to make presence known

Junior college transfer cornerback Chijioke Onyenegecha talks about his his adjustment to Division 1 football and the offense the Sooners will face this weekend against Oregon. (AP Photo/Jerry Laizure)

Cornerback Chijioke Onyenegecha is one of the most talked about junior college transfers in the history of OU football, and his super athletic ability is beginning to pay dividends for the Sooners. When Onyenegecha began play at OU he got off to a very slow start in the spring because he wasn't totally healthy from a hamstring surgery.

Then, in the first week of fall camp he continued to play with a lackluster effort and didn't seem to want to compete. And finally, nine practices in Chijioke started to compete. And since that time he has been almost impossible to beat in a pass drill and he has proven to be one of the most physical corners on the field.

Chijioke always seems to have a smile on his face and he is always kind to this reporter. And despite just completing a grueling set of sprint drills under the direction of Strength and Conditioning Coach Jerry Schmidt, the Sooners' third corner stopped by for the OUInsider Two Minute Drill.

JH: Now that you are actually playing and considering all you had to go through to get here, do you sometimes wake up and pinch yourself just to make sure you are really at OU?

CO: "Of course. Being all the way out here in Oklahoma, the greatest place to be in the world to play football, is a blessing for me. Oklahoma is one of the top teams in the country. I am glad that I am blessed that I get to wake up every day and my school is paid for at such a great school. All I have to do is show up on this practice field and practice hard against some of the nicest guys in the world and some of the best football players in the world and just play hard. My teammates have just embraced me every since I have been here. I have the greatest teammates in the world. They have all helped me adjust to being here in Oklahoma and I love being here."

JH: I think a lot of people are surprised how physical you are?

CO: "Of course. That is a part of football and that is being physical. The intimidation factor is very important, especially at cornerback. Most corners don't like to hit and aren't capable of hitting. Even a guy like Deion Sanders, who may be the best cover guy, but they say he can't tackle. As far as playing football, I have been tackling all of my life. Why should I stop now?"

JH: Isn't Oregon going to be a little more of a basic offensive team than what you've faced against Bowling Green and Houston?

CO: "They run a basic offense, but they have a lot of great athletes. Their quarterback is real good. tThey have a great running back and they have good skill position people. We have to get on it this week and really prepare well.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories