Tobe Okafor A Wanted Man

One of the maximum perks of having a big day at the Northwest Elite Football Camp? A scholarship offer. With representation from over 30 colleges from every level of football coaching and evaluating, there’s a good chance a great performance gets rewarded. And that’s just what happened to Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic OL Tobe Okafor.

At 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, Tobe Okafor plays right tackle and defensive end for head coach Steve Pyne. Lamar Winston and Brady Breeze may headline CC’s potent 2016 recruiting class, but Okafor isn’t exactly brining up the rear. He already has seven scholarship offers, with California being the latest to throw their hat in the ring.

“With the Pac-12 and bigger colleges, it’s offensive tackle; for the small schools and military academies it’s defensive line,” Okafor told Dawgman.com after the NWEFC, one that saw Okafor earn OL MVP honors. Navy, Air Force, Army, Oregon State, Washington State and Holy Cross are the other schools that have already offered.

Okafor said he’s been taking advice from teammates Winston and Breeze, two of the bigger recruits on the west coast. “I learn from them a lot about the recruiting process and they are examples and role models for me.”

And what have they been telling their offensive lineman? “It’s about hard work and being uncommon and doing things that normal people wouldn’t do - going the extra mile,” said Okafor.

Taking that distance metaphor out for test drive, Okafor worked out last year as a sophomore at the NWEFC when it was held at Starfire in Tukwila. That experience gave him the blueprint and the confidence required to take full advantage of this year’s event.

“I learned a lot about the techniques,” he said of last year’s camp. “I’ve been practicing it and perfecting it and trying to come out here and use it in live situations. I just wanted to come out here and have fun, compete. I had a lot of fun. It was tough, though.”

Before the Golden Bears offered, Okafor said they were on his list of colleges he was hoping to impress on the day, along with Arizona State, Washington, Oregon State and Washington State. “I just wanted to show them that I can compete,” he said.

BYU is another program Okafor is looking hard at. “Their o-line coach kind of gave me a verbal (offer) but the head coach is only coach that can give out an offer, so I’m waiting for that,” he said.

Okafor went from Seattle straight to Chicago to go to a one-day camp at Northwestern in the hopes of generating some interest there.

With all these offers now in tow, Okafor is smiling on the inside - even though he’ll never let you see it. “I definitely feel more relaxed,” he said. “I’m still working hard and I want to get more scholarships but I’m more relaxed knowing I have college paid for and I can take one at any time.”

Okafor doesn’t have the rest of his camping schedule mapped out, but said he does expect to pop by both Oregon and Oregon State before the summer is done. And as one could assume based on the Northwestern camp experience, Okafor isn’t afraid of putting distance in the equation if it means the right fit for him academically and athletically.

“Location isn’t a problem,” he said. “I’m just looking for a really prestigious college, and a great football program to get my college education paid for.

“I’m feeling out the process and looking at all schools right now. I’m going to wait out the process, take my visits and talk to my parents and coach Pyne.”




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