It is not often that you find a recruit in the state of Texas who holds as many offers from the Pac-10 as he does from the Big 12. Arlington (Tex.) Grace Prep defensive end Wesley Oglesby is that rare cat, with a trio of offers from each of the two BCS conferences. He has five other Division I rides available to him, for a total of 11 scholarships. That is a strong and diverse recruitment for a Lone Star State private school student-athlete.
"My coach has really good connections," Oglesby explains. "He told me I would get these offers, but I honestly didn't know what to really expect until they started to come."
If the name of Grace Prep Academy rings a bell, you may have heard the name in numerous recruiting circles two cycles ago. The 2004 graduating class at the Arlington private school sent four-star wide receiver Lance Leggett to Miami (FL), running back Justin Forsett to Cal and quarterback David Ramirez to Purdue.
The Lions also made a lot of noise this past fall on the field, accumulating a 9-3 record before dropping a heartbreaker in the TAPPS Division II state championship game to Midland Christian. Grace Prep led 13-0 in the half, but an amalgam of turnovers was their eventual undoing. In a span of less than four minutes in the second half, the Lions let their foes score 16 unanswered points, including two touchdowns off turnovers and a safety on an errant punt snap. Despite outgaining their opponents 323-117 in total offensive yardage, Grace Prep coughed up six turnovers and lost the game, 16-13.
"It was a good season, but the goal was to win a state championship," Oglesby reflects.
For his part, the 6'6" 230-pound two-way lineman was a standout at defensive end and utility athlete on the offensive line. He recorded 88 tackles, including 20 tackles for loss and 10 sacks on defense. Over on offense, he played every position on the line, shuffling around as his coach employed the rangy athlete against different opponents.
"I played all over the offensive line - wherever my coach needed me that week. We didn't have much depth on the offensive line, so he matched me up how he saw fit to give us the best chance to win," the Arlington standout offers. "But I played the biggest role at defensive end. I teamed up with another good defensive lineman we had, who was a senior."
"I think a lot of the credit for my success has to go to great coaching," Oglesby continues. "I am prepared for each game and know what the offense is going to do. I'm also pretty fast for a defensive lineman, and I have long arms."
During the spring, Oglesby ran a 4.67 in the 40 at a Nike combine, and he has followed that up with similarly strong times at a pair of recent camps. He ran a 4.69 at an Oklahoma State camp held recently at Richardson (Tex.) Berkner High School, as well as a 4.73 at a TCU camp. Oglesby has attended a third college camp this spring, at USC, but he suffered an injury to his hamstring and did not have the chance to test. The injury also truncated the rising senior's camp plans for the summer.
Though the OSU camp took place in Dallas, Oglesby has been to Stillwater previously and has a special familiarity with the school.
"Both my parents went to Oklahoma State, so that might be a factor, though they aren't putting any pressure on me," the defensive end recruit reveals. "I haven't been up there for a game before, but I have been up there with my family. That was before [OSU] offered. I might go up there again before the end of the summer to meet with the coaches."
The Cowboys are one of 11 programs who have thus far extended scholarships to the Grace Prep prize. He tells The Bootleg that he currently holds offers from Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, TCU, Arkansas, Duke, Colorado State, Utah, Arizona, Cal and Stanford. While some of these offers have come recently, like OSU's last week, a pair of programs stepped out in front last fall. Oglesby says that Cal and Duke both offered him in November, giving themselves a head start in what has become a heated recruiting race.
"I'm really wide open right now," he maintains. "At the beginning of the summer, I thought I would like to make my commitment before my senior season. But I don't think that is going to happen. I need the chance to meet the players at these schools and get to know them."
To that end, Oglesby forecasts that he will take official visits during his senior year. He has no top five he can name right now, though he feels that the two schools who offered him first have built relationships which will compel him to officially visit their campuses.
"I've talked to Cal and Duke for months, so I feel comfortable the most with their coaches right now," he allows.
Moreover, Oglesby has taken unofficial visits already this summer to both the Berkeley and Durham campuses. One difference between the two schools jumped out at him.
"I went to Cal last Tuesday. I didn't camp with them because they use full pads and my coach didn't want me to do that at any camp," he begins. "It was nice. It was one of the bigger schools I've visited. The weather is real nice out there, and I know that holds for Stanford, too - they're 30 minutes away."
"I went to Duke right after I got done with school, around May 20. My cousin graduated high school around there, so we made a trip to see both," Oglesby continues. "Cal and Duke are completely different, size-wise. There are high schools in Texas the size of Duke. Duke is a private school - a lot smaller. I don't know which I like better; both have their ups and downs."
Though Oglesby has been at both Cal and USC this summer, he has not yet toured The Farm. Timing conspired against an opportunity for him to see the Stanford campus.
"They didn't have a running back at my school like Cal had Justin Forsett, so they found out about me later," Oglesby opines. "Stanford offered me right before we left California, so that's why I didn't get a chance to see them. I've called Coach [Darrell] Patterson a couple of times, and I'm learning more about them. They obviously are one of the best schools academically in the country, and they have a great football tradition."
Oglesby is a solid performer in the classroom, which helped to draw the Cardinal's attention. He holds down a 3.56 GPA at Grace Prep and took both major standardized tests his sophomore year, scoring a 1050 on the SAT and a 22 on the ACT. Scheduling did not permit him to retake either test his junior year, though he has plans to take one or both in the fall to raise his score(s).
The Arlington athlete may see his college options grow further still. In addition to his 11 offer schools, he has a handful of other programs which have caught his fancy and could become players in his recruitment.
"Florida seems pretty interested, though they said I might need to wait until after my senior season," he details. "Texas A&M said they would offer me, so we'll see if that happens. And I talked to one of the USC coaches at my school. They're the two-time defending national champions, so you have to pay attention to that."
Oglesby says he is looking at both the coaches and players at each school, as well as the location. With a recruitment still surging to greater heights each day, it is hard to get a handle on who he will favor and when he will conclude his college search. This is a story to watch closely over the coming months. Stay tuned.
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