Cuse liking what it sees in MD safety

There has been some rumbling among Syracuse football fans about the relatively diminutive size of some of the defensive back recruits over the past few years. But that is not an issue in the case of Eleanor Roosevelt (Md.) safety Okechuckwu Okoroha, an impressive looking SU target for next year.


Okoroha is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior who has been receiving steady interest from SU assistant coach Chris White. He seems likely to receive an SU offer in the not-to-distant future, though he does not have an SU offer yet, contrary to what had been reported elsewhere.

"I think that's something that was a mistake, but they have a very strong interest and I'm pretty sure they're going to offer him," said Roosevelt coach Rick Houchens, who has sent plenty of standouts to major Division I schools in recent years – including Syracuse defensive back Nico Scott.
Okoroha had 43 tackles and four interceptions a year ago for a defense that posted seven shutouts, and has a skill set that is quite attractive to college scouts. He's a tireless worker in the weight room, has great instincts and a great work ethic, and will most likely be in the 210-pound range by the time he hits the college field.

"He's got the total package of a free safety. He's got the size, he bench pressed 185 pounds fifteen times, he ran a 4.68 40[yard dash] on a laser timer and a 4.22-second shuttle," Houchens said. "He can play the pass and see the field real well but he also can knock you out after you catch the ball and he plays the run very well."

Houchens said Okoroha, who also has a 3.0 GPA and will qualify easily, is on the same level as some of his best players in recent years – Maryland offensive tackle Jared Gaither, Penn State receiver Derrick Williams and Florida pass rusher Derrick Harvey, to name a few.

Maryland, Virginia, Michigan State, Boston College and Ohio State have all expressed interest in Okoroha, though he doesn't have offers yet. He'll be making the rounds on the summer combine circuit, though, and is sure to attract plenty of them.

The smart money says Syracuse will be one of them.

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