Most incoming freshmen want to have the opportunity to contribute on the field in their first season at college.
Southern Methodist University freshman Sidney Nwangwu, however, is not like most freshmen.
The Midland High School product is redshirting this upcoming season and not because of any coaches' decision. "Coach (June) Jones suggested it but said I didn't have to," he said. "I just went ahead and did it."
Not that this is the first time Nwangwu has decided to wait instead of jump at the first opportunity. If that was the case the freshman would not even be at SMU.
That is because Nwangwu received his first scholarship offer in the spring of his junior year from Texas Tech. Yet the offensive lineman says he was never sold on the Red Raiders despite their early interest.
He, instead, played his final two seasons before SMU came calling in the January of his senior year—the same time head coach Jones was given the keys to the program. "I took the visit and I was sold," Nwangwu said.
The freshman said the prestige of the university and its graduation rate were deciding factors. Not to mention the success Jones had at Hawaii.
Now Nwangwu has a chance to be a part of Jones' success at SMU as part of his first recruiting class with the Mustangs.
That success will come at a price for Nwangwu who Jones wants to lose weight before stepping onto the field for the Mustangs. "It's a physically draining system to play in," Nwangwu said. "That's part of the reason I want to lose weight."
The 6-foot-4, 331-pound offensive lineman said he has already lost 10-11 pounds since he began off-season conditioning despite "nearly passing out" the first day.
He hopes to get down to 295 pounds by next season and believes redshirting will give him ample opportunities to do so. That is not, however, all he hopes to accomplish within the year.
"That wasn't the main reason," he said. "I just wanted to get a good feel for the system before I went out and started playing."
"I want to know every play in the book."