JUCO corner chooses Washington

Josh Okoebor is a 5-10.5, 175-pound corner from Fontana, California, and during Josh's junior year in high school he was part of a pretty impressive secondary. But those guys all moved on, leaving Josh to take the load all on his own.

"Yeah, in 11th grade, I was playing with guys like Aaron Gipson, who is at Oregon and DeAndre Alexander, who is at Oregon State," Okoebor told TheInsiders.com Monday night. "But in the 12th grade it was just me, so we weren't as talented. I got all conference, all-CBL and second-team all-CIF that year, but our team wasn't that good, so schools really didn't recruit me all that much.

Hawaii was my biggest look and I was set to go there, but I didn't have my test score in time and they took AJ Martinez instead. So then I heard from the coaches at San Bernardino Valley College and they told me that they had a spot for me, so that's where I went."

Josh spent his first year at SBVC learning a new position. "In 2002, I was a wide receiver for the first four games. The offensive coordinator wanted me to play there. But our QB wasn't the best, and our corners were struggling, so they put me on defense for the rest of the year.

"We did really well, we had the number-one defense in the conference. We had 6 players on that defense that went Division-1."

Okoebor spent the spring and summer of 2003 getting ready for what he thought would be a huge sophomore season. "I went to the JCFootball.com combine and was the best corner there during the one-on-ones. And then I worked out at Chaffey College and the coach there was really impressed with me.

"But I pulled a hamstring early on and by the time it was 100 percent healed there were only three games left, so I just redshirted." Josh has three years to play three at the D1 level.

Since he was a full qualifier out of high school, he's ready for spring and has decided on a school. "A lot of schools looked at me this year even though I was hurt," he said. "Coach (Phil) Snow called and told me that they really needed help. I did some research and found out that they were losing a couple of seniors and that there was not a lot of depth. I sent my tape and he liked it and got me up there on a trip.

"Mr. Derrick Johnson was my host. He just told me about Coach Snow and what he does and what to expect. He didn't sugar-coat it at all. He was really honest and I knew Washington was the best fit for me.

Okoebor had already visited New Mexico and had a visit set with Marshall, but that trip has been cancelled. "Utah was talking to me too, but I'm going to Washington," he said.

And when did he know Seattle and UW was the place for him? "On the last day of my visit, I was talking football with Coach Snow and he was telling me what they do and I could see that I would really fit in well with their program," he said. "He said that he liked me a lot and that he liked how I can turn my hips and break on a ball. Right then I knew I was going to commit."

Okoebor talked it over with his parents late Sunday night and then made the decision. "I'm expecting to sign in the next couple of days and I'll be there in the spring," said Josh. He has a 250-pound bench, 350-pound squat, 38-inch vertical leap and legitimate 4.3 speed.

It's his speed that makes Okoebor a difference-maker in his opinion. "If you came to see me, you'd see a guy that was on the other team's top receiver, doing bump or off-man coverage, breaking on the ball, doing whatever I can to get that receiver off of his game.

"I think the biggest thing I have going for me is my speed. If I make a mistake in coverage, I can catch up and still make a play."

Josh Okoebor Scout Profile

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