A plan beyond football

Serra defensive end Oluwole Betiku maybe still be relatively new to football, but of the more impressive prospects at the USC Elite Junior Invitational, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound junior was hard not to notice.

Gardena (Calif.) Serra defensive end Oluwole Betiku came into the USC Elite Junior Invite no really knowing what to expect.

Junior days are a foreign concept to Betiku, literally. However, the campus of USC is hardly foreign territory for the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Nigerian native.

“There’s always something new to learn, and just being around the coaches and the other players was a great experience,” said Betiku. “USC has a lot to offer. They have a good football experience and they have a very strong alumni.

“I think the highlight was just seeing the plan they have for their athletes beyond football. That was very impressive.

“USC is a great football school with a great education. We heard a lot about the SC degree and I feel USC has a lot to offer outside of football.I talk to Coach Tee Martin and Coach Chris Wilson, but today I met everyone at USC.”

USC is recruiting Betiku as a rush end, offering him a scholarship toward the end of his junior season. While Betiku is familiar with the tradition of USC football, he didn’t venture far from the athletic facilities before Saturday.

“It was good to tour the concourse and the facilities where all the action is,” said Betiku. “I’ve never really seen that part of the school where the business program is.”

Betiku has plenty of reasons to feel good about USC, but being fairly new to football, let along the recruiting process, he wants to let the process play out this spring.

“I’ve thought about making a commitment, but it’s better not to rush things,” said Betiku. “Sometimes people commit and just de-commit, but I don’t want to do that.

“I want to commit and know that’s where I’m going. I have to go around and compare USC with other things. I don’t want to go to one school and then see something new and feel like I need to de-commit. I don’t want that.

“I mean, sometimes coaches change jobs and everything and you have to do what you have to do, but if I commit to a school, I want to commit 100-percent.”

Granted, Betiku has seen the other side of recruiting double edged sword.

“The messages from the coaches are overwhelming,” said Betiku. “It’s hard to reply to everyone, but you try because I don’t want to look like a snob.

“I’m nice to everyone because you never know what coach is going to possibly be drafting you to the NFL. So I try to reply, but it gets stressful. That’s why I think about maybe committing early.

“But I have so many more things to learn and see. I have to lean more about my position and get into the process. I don’t really have time right now, so I have to wait.”

Betiku has a few school he would like to see in person before making a commitment.

“I’d like to see Florida State, Notre Dame, ASU and Miami,” said Betiku. “I think the school I’ll see first, because it;s the closest, is Washington. I really like the coaches there - they seem like good people.

“But it’s one thing to hear it, I need to go see for myself.”

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