Profile: Oluwole Betiku
Position: Defensive Line
High School: Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Weight: 250 pounds
Recruiting: Even though UCLA had been leading for Betiku since early spring, this commitment came out of the blue. We just talked to the standout defensive end on Wednesday and he said he planned to take all five of his trips and had no plans to make an early commitment. Betiku even mentioned talking with several other players at The Opening made him decide to take a step back in his recruitment and re-evaluate all his options. LSU had just offered and he mentioned being a fan of how schools like Florida State and Florida used their defensive ends and how well he fit in with their schemes. Again, this was all just one day ago. Huge credit here has to go to UCLA DL coach Angus McClure who has established a very strong relationship with Betiku over the last year. Betiku mentioned that the two biggest things he was looking for in a school were comfort level and trust and in McClure, Betiku said he had both. That proved to be too much to over come for any other program.
What to Like: In terms of physical upside, few players anywhere in the country can match what Betiku brings to the table. He’s an NFL caliber guy when you look at his size and athleticism. He has a college body right now and will have no problem playing at about 260 pounds while maintaining his speed and quickness. He tested off the charts at The Opening clocking a 4.57-40 and jumping 34” in the vertical. He has a non-stop motor, works incredibly hard on his game off the field and plays with a natural mean streak. He’s still learning the game but can dominate right now with a bull rush or simply running around an opposing tackle. He’s very strong in his upper body, is a coachable kid and barring injury, should play football for as long as he wants to.
Areas to improve: Betiku has only played football for one year, which is mind boggling when you consider how dominant he already is. As a result, Betiku is still learning the game and is raw in some areas. He has a ways to go in identifying certain blocking schemes and how to react. He can get sucked in and overcommit and his first reaction, like most H.S rush ends, is to always want to pin his ears back and get up the field. He’ll also need to learn a few counter moves to go with a speed rush. At The Opening, he was neutralized a few times when an opposing tackle could get his hands on him and Betiku wasn’t sure what to do. Saying that, you can expect rapid improvement from him. We were at his first practice at Serra last year and he barely knew how to get in to a stance. By the end of the year, he was one of the state’s best pass rushers. If he makes another jump like he did a year ago, he’ll be scary by the end of this season.
Overall Analysis: Betiku is a massive commitment for UCLA. As stated, it wasn’t a shock that he chose the Bruins, as they had been leading for months. The surprise was the timing. This recruitment looked like one that would drag out and you got the feeling that the longer it went, the less chance UCLA had in holding on to that lead. Now UCLA has a player who very well could end up the top overall recruit in the West by the end of the year from a H.S they traditionally struggled to recruit from. We know it’s far from over and Betiku could still elect to take his official visits but we do think UCLA is in a good spot right now. He has been on campus multiple times and if comfort level and trust is truly what he’s looking for most, then it’s a good bet he’ll stick with his commitment.