Ogbu Preparing For Rookie Season

The second player to commit for Penn State's Class of 2006 will also be the second one to enroll at the university. The man in question is defensive lineman Ollie Ogbu, a 6-foot-2, 305-pounder who graduated from Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y., in December.

Ogbu hoped to enroll at Penn State in January, along with classmate Navorro Bowman, who graduated from high school a semester early. But he said since Milford is a prep school — Ogbu finished his high school career there after transferring in from St. Joseph's by the Sea on Staten Island — he encountered problems.

“NCAA rules said I wasn't allowed to enroll in January,” he explained. “When you go to prep school, you are not allowed to go to college in January. You have to finish the year and then join the other incoming freshmen.”

So, Ogbu said, he will enroll at the university for the first six-week summer semester, which begins May 15. Most of the rest of the freshmen are slated to begin classes for the second summer semester, which begins June 26.

But rather than stay with his family back on Staten Island until it was time to enroll, Ogbu decided to strike out on his own a bit. Last week, he moved into a State College apartment just minutes from the Penn State campus. He'll work two jobs to pay the rent.

“I just want to be near the school and get a feel for the town and get used to it before going in as a freshman,” he said.

He is also spending a good bit of his time lifting weights and running to stay in shape. But he is not working out with his future teammates just yet.

“They are busy with their practices and school and everything, and I'm busy trying to stay in shape and get a job,” Ogbu said.

The Penn State coaching staff would like to see him drop about 15 pounds by the time preseason camp rolls around. And Ogbu does not see that as a problem. He knows about the graduation losses the Lions sustained along the defensive line, and sees a chance for himself to make and immediate impact.

“I definitely think I can contribute to the team early,” he said. “I want to try to help get the team get back to where it was last year.”

Ogbu committed to Penn State May 13, 2005, one day after New Jersey quarterback Brett Brackett became the first member of the Class of 2006.


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