Recruiting: Wideout Ogbonnaya In No Rush

With commitments from three in-state wideouts -- Texarkana's <B>Nathan Jones</B>, Houston Westbury's <B>George Walker</B> and Burnet's <B>Jordan Shipley</B> -- <B>Mack Brown</B> and Co. have jumped out to a quick start, but they're not yet done at the spot.

And why would they be? Kyle Shanahan exhausted his eligibility. The trio of Roy, Sloan and B.J. will be missed after this season. And if that doesn't scare you, the Horns lose Tony Jeffery the season after next, leaving only Robert Timmons and Brian Carter (currently) with any experience for '04. Brown and his staff must add depth through '04 signees after only grabbing Limas Sweed, Tyrell Gatewood and Billy Pittman this past February. Those three, plus Timmons and Carter, make up just the exact number of wides needed in Davis' 5-wide sets.

So who's available for backup duty and depth concerns in '04? Again, Mack and Co. added Jones, Walker and Shipley, but a couple more would provide a nice even ten -- a full two-deep in 5-wides -- at the position.

Given that, we project the Horns will take a couple more receivers before closing shop at the position. IT caught up with one of the remaining targets -- Houston Strake Jesuit's Chris Ogbonnaya -- for a brief chat.

Ogbonnaya recently tripped to Ann Arbor (unofficially) and came back giving it a thumb's up.

"I went down there during spring break -- my sis is a voice major there -- and the coaching staff seemed excited that I showed up," said Ogbonnaya, recapping the visit. "I talked to (linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator) Coach Sheridan, (wide receivers) Coach Campbell and (running backs coach/Houston-area scout) Coach Jackson."

"I also talked to the head coach, Lloyd Carr," Ogbonnaya continued, "but didn't talk to him too much. It was an inopportune time. It was still cool, but he didn't know me too well. Coach Carr said they'd like for me to make one of their summer camps. I guess, to grab another look at me. It was actually kind of funny, they (Michigan coaching staff) were watching tape of me when I showed up. Didn't seem like they were that serious about me."

Of course, that could change...

About a week ago, Ogbonnaya told IT that Michigan would be flying in to grab an up-close look at him in one of his practices.

"I was actually kind of surprised to hear Michigan was coming back to see me," the 6-0/6-1, 200-pound pass-catcher said. "I'm really excited and looking forward to it. My coach said that Nick Saban called and spoke to him recently too. I'm hoping to hear from Notre Dame soon."

"I just can't wait for the coaches to begin calling in May," Ogbonnaya continued. "I think it'll be cool to talk with some of the different coaches from various universities. The recruiting process should be viewed as a privilege...this is fun...I'm enjoying it. I just started playing football three years ago and it's just a blessing from God to be in this position."

If you're getting the impression that he'd like to take his time too, apparently, that seems to be the case, at least for now.

"I'm fully open to the recruiting process," an excited Ogbonnaya claimed. "Totally not biased toward any place. I don't really have a set leader. Some may have an edge, but only because I have already visited and know how the coaches behave."

"I feel as though its better to take my time," the Bayou city stud told IT. "I have my own little assembly line to push (the various benefits each school has to offer) through my family and other people I'm close to before making a decision. I feel like up until now, this is the biggest decision of my life and I'm going to get all of the help I can from my family, especially."

"I'm very close to my family and the relationship I have with them...that'll correlate to my decision," Ogbonnaya continued. "I know a lot of guys are committing early, but I'd rather give it more time."

So what exactly is he looking for?

"Basically, a good athletic and academic homeostasis," Ogbonnaya said. "A good balance between academics and athletics. My main goal is to graduate from a good and respectable school. I'm not looking to go to the NFL. I would like to, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do that so the degree is important."

"And I'm looking for a good environment," Strake Jesuit's standout junior wideout and future senior quarterback said.

The pass-snatcher recently told IT that he'd make a decision on whether to attend either a Michigan or Texas summer camp.

"At this time, I'm not sure," Ogbonnaya explained. "That'll be something I decide sometime in May."

Nike Camp?

"I'm going to try, but I have a National Honor Society function to attend May 3rd weekend," Ogbonnaya said. "I'll do whatever it takes to get there, but I might end up missing it."


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