For many folks one of the most surprising teams in the state has been the Woodmont Wildcats. 4-0 to start the season and starting to gain a sense of togetherness, confidence, and pride the Wildcats have proven all of the early doubters wrong. Powered by a young corps of athletes the Wildcats have playmakers all over the field. SCPrepNation.com caught up with one of their top playmakers recently in 2010 CB/S Okoye Houston.
Flashing an energetic smile Houston stars in the defensive backfield for coach Richard Schrader's team. Checking in at 6'0 184 pounds Houston has more than adequate size for a college cornerback. When you pair that with 4.57 second 40 speed and innate coverage instincts and skills you have yourself a player who is quickly moving up the rankings. The first thing we talked with Houston about was the tremendous start to the season thus far. "Well it feels great! It feels good to prove people wrong!"
Teams have been getting a dose of his talents on the defensive side of the ball but he's equally explosive on the offense as well lining up as a wide receiver and on special teams as a punt and kickoff returner. One game so far was the biggest in terms of individual performance for Okoye. "My best game was against Wren. I had two punt return touchdowns called back but I ran the opening kickoff of the second half back for a touchdown."
Houston isn't a household name yet but that hasn't stopped a few programs from already recruiting him on a regular basis. "I'm hearing from Tennessee, Duke, Western Kentucky, and Michigan State so far." A local school however right now leads a trio of schools that the 2010 standout would like more from currently on a regular basis. "I'd have to say my top 3 I've heard from are Clemson, Georgia, and Tennessee. If I had to pick a favorite overall it'd have to be Auburn."
Despite all the physical gifts and talents that Okoye possesses he says those strengths are secondary to one asset that stands above all others at this point in his career. "My experience is the biggest strength I have right now. I've been starting on defense since my freshman season." Although he's one of the most athletic prospects in the state for the 2010 class Houston says he wants to push the bar even higher. "I want to improve on my speed, breaking on the ball, and tackling."
The 2010 standout also talked about his outlook for the rest of the season and a matchup that he's really looking forward to. "I would like to stay healthy and help my team make the playoffs. I'm really looking forward to playing Daniel because of the upset that people are going to see us make." The swagger is apparent but Okoye backs it up in a big way. One of the toughest challenges so far this season took place when he helped Woodmont slow down Southside standout wide receivers Marlin Butler and Chris Rhodes in a thrilling victory for the Wildcats in which both teams came in undefeated.
For inspiration and as a player that he has admired over the years he looks to former Clemson star and current All-Pro Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins. "I enjoy watching and learning from Brian Dawkins because of how good he is. He can play the run and the pass, plus he can come up and make the big hit/play too."
In terms of measurables Okoye obviously has the size but he has posted some unbelievable testing numbers as well. This past offseason he tested at a Nike SPARQ combine and posted a huge score/rating of 91.11. With another season to go you can expect Okoye to only get better and better.
SCPrepNation.com will continue to bring you the latest recruiting updates concerning Okoye Houston and other top South Carolina prep prospects first so stay tuned!
Inside The Numbers...Okoye Houston
Bench press: 240 pounds
Squat: 345 pounds
Power clean: 225 pounds
Fastest 40 time: 4.57 seconds
Short shuttle: 4.00 second (SPARQ certified)