Get to Know 2016: Oluwole Betiku

Feb. 16 -- Originally from Nigeria without a great deal of football experience, Oluwole Betiku transferred to Gardena Serra last summer, and the physical specimen of a defensive end had a blow-up junior season...

Betiku is a native of Nigeria who just transferred into Serra from Maryland before last season. He came to the U.S. three years ago and hadn't played any American football, mostly basketball and soccer up until that point. It was his first real season of football so he was pretty raw in many aspects of his game, but he showed some immediate athletic potential as soon as he took the field. Physically he has that Owamagbe Odighizuwa type of build, pretty rocked out – which is good on one hand, but also means there isn’t that much more physical upside. He has very good quickness and combines that with some considerable strength and he just overwhelms his high school competition. He played a good portion of his junior season with a hand injury that dictated he fully wrap it, making him unable to grab, but it didn't phase him. Even though he hasn’t played football that much he took to the defensive end spot incredibly naturally, showing instincts for the position. The fact that he’s so new to the game but looks like a natural, along with those physical gifts, vaulted him into the national rankings to #71 in the nation.

Maryland offered Betiku before he ever played a down of football last summer. UCLA has been on Betiku for a while. When he moved to L.A. last summer, he took an unofficial visit to UCLA’s campus, before he had his blow-up junior season. Sources say UCLA is doing well with Betiku but, being a Serra kid, we’re hearing that USC is probably the leader and he’ll more than likely have people pushing him there. After the break-out junior season, he’s garnered offers from around the country, including from Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Texas A&M and Florida State. He’s a fairly academic kid with a a good sense of that element of his decision, so that could help UCLA.

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