VERBAL: A future black and orange skyscraper

WHEN FANS THINK of 6-foot-6 wide receivers, the first thought is often that of a fade route specialist, one who subs in when the offense gets in the red zone. And while future Beaver wideout Obum Gwacham (6-6, 205) out of Chino Hills, Calif. can do that, he's more than just a tall target on the gridiron. "I like to get downfield and block for my running backs," says the OSU verbal commit.

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Ayala High standout Obum Gwacham visited Oregon State this past weekend. Yesterday, when area recruiter Joe Seumalo came by Ayala, Gwacham told him he was ready to become a Beaver.

OSU, Gwacham says, has told him he will probably grayshirt and delay his enrollment until next January, though that's not set in stone. Gwacham had offers from Idaho State and Montana State to start college this fall, and Colorado State and Sac State were talking to him as well.

The Beaver players during his visit to Corvallis, however, let him know they wanted him at OSU be it in January or otherwise.

"That went really well. It was just one of those atmospheres where I felt like I belonged...they were pushing me but they didn't really have to push me much -- spending the weekend hanging out with the Rodgers brothers (James Rodgers, Jacquizz Rodgers), those guys were something else. I basically made up my mind while I was there," said Gwacham.


OBUM GWACHAM

Gwacham said the family atmosphere at Oregon State during his trip was key.

"Coach Riley invited everyone to his house, all the recruits and their parents and even his wife and some of us played Guitar Hero," said Gwacham.

"I'm just excited to get up there and start playing."

GRAYSHIRTING CAN BE a tremendous advantage -- it allows an incoming player the chance to go through winter offseason workouts, spring ball and offseason summer and conditioning, plus take his first college courses out of season -- all before his first fall camp. The tradeoff is the waiting, delaying college enrollment until January.

"They love my size to begin with," said Gwacham of Oregon State. "They love that I'm not one of those receivers that takes plays off when we're running the ball -- I like to get downfield and block for my running backs...it's not all about fades and slants."

GWACHAM, IF HE does grayshirt at Oregon State, said he'll be working on his speed and strength during the fall in order to prepare for Pac-10 competition -- of particular focus will be on improving his core strength, with lifts like the power clean.

"We've been doing all that at Ayala so it won't be anything new for me," said Gwacham.

Gwacham is also a track standout at Ayala -- his personal best in the high jump is 6-10.

"I do have a four inch improvement every year," said Gwacham.

IN SIX GAMES as a senior, Gwacham caught 13 passes for 262 yards -- an average of 20.15 yards per catch --with two touchdowns.



Obum Gwacham profile

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • His first name is pronounced uh-Boom.

  • Along with the 6-10 in the high jump, he went for 48-0 in the triple jump, both were the top marks in the Arcadia Invitational in April of 2008. He boasts a 34-inch vertical.

  • He missed his entire junior season in 2007 with a broken collarbone. Born in Nigeria, he moved to the United States when he was 7 years old.


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