|Bench Press:||270 pounds|
|School:||Dublin Coffman High, Dublin, OH|
You might not be able to pronounce his name yet, but should this 6'3" wide receiver from Dublin, Ohio sign with Penn State, you can bet Nittany Lion fans will make it a household word.
A swift 200-pounder with 4.56 speed, Chinedum Ndukwe (pronounced CHIN-a-doom, nu-DUK-wee) snared 59 passes for 859 yards and 11 touchdowns for Dublin Coffman High School last year. His combination of size and quickness has drawn the young man several written offers.
"I have offers from Wisconsin, Iowa, Purdue, Louisville, Maryland, Penn State, Pitt, Duke and Bowling Green," Chinedum said.
The home-state Buckeyes have not yet offered.
"They've been talking to me, but I still have to go to their camp. I don't know if I'm going to go or not. They only have like 12 or 13 scholarships this year. I think they've already offered a couple of receivers."
Virginia, Michigan, Ohio State, Stanford, West Virginia and Notre Dame are some other schools showing interest.
Chinedum had planned to make an early commitment, "but since a lot more schools have been showing interest in me, I think I'm going to take a little bit more time.
"I've visited Penn State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Purdue, Louisville, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Stanford."
Visiting with his dad during spring break in late March, Ndukwe soaked in the whole college visit experience.
"In some cases, coaches would take us around. At Penn State, Coach Jay Paterno took us around everywhere." He seemed to enjoy all his visits, adding, "Obviously, I felt really comfortable with some places, and some places it would probably take me a little bit of time to get used to. But I think I would be able to go to any of those schools.
"I felt real comfortable at Penn State. That was really nice. There were a lot of people around. School was in, and we got to see a lot of people and classes and stuff."
Ndukwe does not have any clear-cut favorites right now.
"They [favorite schools] change almost every day. I wake up and I'm just like ‘Man, it would be really tight to go to Notre Dame,' but then the next day I'm like, ‘Wow, Penn State would be nice.' Then I think, "I could catch a lot of balls my freshman year at Louisville.' I don't know."
One key factor for many high school seniors who are used to Friday night stardom is early playing time. Ndukwe is no different.
"I think about that a lot. I believe if I work as hard next summer as I'm working right now, then I may have a good chance at doing that." Surely, quarterbacks at the school Chinedum selects will be happy to see his 6'3" target running free in the secondary.
Chinedum's teammate, quarterback Brady Quinn, is also being recruited very heavily.
"He's like my best friend in the school. I'm always at his house or he's always over here," Ndukwe said. "We're always talking about [going to the same school]. That would be nice. I think Maryland is one school that's really interested in both of us, Louisville, too. Obviously, we're going to have to decide what's going to be best for each of us, but it would be nice."
Such decisions are difficult for any high school senior, but Chinedum can always turn to his big brother Ike for advice on the whole recruiting experience. Ike is a lineman at Northwestern, a school also in the hunt for the sure-handed receiver. Chinedum, however, is not locked into following his brother, preferring to keep all options open to him at this time.
Perhaps Ndukwe will be closer to a decision after he's camped out this summer. He has yet to decide where he will showcase his many talents, possibly at Notre Dame or Stanford. So where does that leave our Nittany Lions?
"I know they [PSU] offered probably four or five wide receivers. They're probably going to take like two." And if Chinedum Ndukwe is one of that pair, Lion fans can look forward to creating nicknames for him. I like "The Duke of Doom." It will give Big 10 secondaries something to think about other than Zack Mills.
(Interview done by Steve Curry)