Recruiting: 17!

Whatever happened to sweating it out for bluechippers like <B>Chris Ogbonnaya</B>? Those days appear to be all but gone. The 6-1, 200-pound wideout from Houston Strake Jesuit opted to end the suspense early, becoming Texas' 17th commitment Tuesday and joining what promises to be the nation's top receiver class.

"After thinking everything through and having a family meeting," Ogbonnaya said, "I finally connected with Mack Brown and Coach Drake."

"Everybody had an idea already," the state's No. 22-ranked prospect said, "But I wanted to get through to the coaches before speaking with you guys (the media)."

"I have a lot of respect for you and the UT Rivals guys," the especially thick/powerful receiver said. "You guys were great all along."

While Longhorn fans awaited the news of his official commitment to the Horns, Ogbonnaya got in touch with his position coach Darryl Drake.

"He was happy when I told him I wanted to commit," said the kid who can run a 4.5 forty and change directions exceptionally well for such a big, possession-type pass-catcher. "He said I made his day and his month and that now he can go on vacation."

After chuckling a little, Ogbonnaya said Drake told him that he has the entire package.

"He said he was really happy because I had the character, grades, athletic ability...the package."

And the humble Strake Jesuit prep reminded us once again that he just started playing football a couple of years ago.

"I really never expected to be in this position," Ogbonnaya maintained. "It's just a blessing from God."

And it'll be hard for the kind kid with impressive manners and excellent character to call the losing programs, but he most certainly will.

"It's something they deserve," Ogbonnaya said. "I just appreciate them recruiting me, but this is what I decided."

Of course, Mack Brown had to also be happy to beat out the other 26 schools, including Stanford, Northwestern, LSU, Colorado, UCLA, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Penn State and Texas Tech, that had extended offers to the private school phenom.

"He was excited and glad that I committed, too," Ogbonnaya said. "He talked with my dad as did Coach Drake. It was cool."

It was the 2000 class that saw Brown, Drake and Co. land a stellar fab five wide receiver group consisting of Tony Jeffery, Nathan Vasher, B.J. Johnson, Sloan Thomas and Roy Williams. Four years later, the almost-complete class of '04 also boasts 'Big Five' kudos with Texarkana's Nathan Jones, Burnet's Jordan Shipley, Houston Westbury's George Walker, Round Rock McNeil's Myron Hardy and now Ogbonnaya in the Longhorn fold.

Although all five current UT receiver commits could end up at wideout on the Forty Acres, it's quite possible that, like Vasher out of the '00 class, at least one lines up at another spot once in the Orange and White.


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