Now in the spotlight after committing to Notre Dame, WL Central's Ogundeji ready for a big 2015 seasonFootball  |
Novi – In his time coaching Walled Lake Central, Bob Meyer has had players he felt had the talent to be high level Division 1 college football players, but never received offers from those types of programs.
Dating back to 1984, Walled Lake Central had not produced a high-level Division 1 football player, when Steve Thibert went on to play for Michigan.
That was until this summer.
Adetokunbo Ogundeji went into this past summer as a player with a handful of MAC level offers, but after attending several camps, the senior defensive end grabbed the attention of coaches nationally, earning offers from Oregon, California and Notre Dame, who Ogundeji would commit to on July 16th.
“When he started out with us as a sophomore on the varsity, you could see one, his ability and two, his tenacity,” said Meyer. “But three, I’ve had a lot of kids with those two traits, he has the physical traits in terms of the height and the span and the leanness that the college coaches look for. I’ve been frustrated in the past, I’ve had great high school football players that the colleges aren’t interested in, because they don’t meet that third criteria, but he does.”
The 6-foot-5 225 pound defensive end was originally committed to Western Michigan after his sophomore year, but took the advice from his coach to attend offseason camps to see what other offers he could land.
Considered a 3-star defensive end, Ogundeji admitted that he was a little surprised after receiving the offers he did.
“It was surprising, I was shocked,” he said. “Every offer that I got, I was pretty shocked, but I just thank all of my coaches, all my teammates and my family for just being there with me through this whole ride.”
But with his senior season coming up and the recruiting process now behind him, Ogundeji is excited to get back to playing football.
“It feels great just to get it off my back and forget about the recruiting process and focus on the team’s goals,” he said. “Really it’s the biggest relief to get off my back and I feel great.”
As for what Ogundji can expect from opposing defenses this fall, Meyer said he expects his senior defensive end to see plenty of double teams and for teams to run their plays to the opposite side, putting pressure on the defensive end on the opposite side, Nick Tinson
“They’re just flat out going to run away from him,” he said. “That’s where we’ve talked to Nick Tinson, the other defensive end starter, and have told him that he better be working his butt off, because they’re all coming your way and if you want to be great and you know you’re being great when they start running back at Ade.”
Meyer also added that facing those double teams and even triple teams won’t be something new to the Notre Dame commit, as he saw that on numerous occasions during last season and in the playoffs.
Ogundeji said that he embraces facing double and even triple teams, but also added it will give teammates an opportunity to step up if opponents send multiple players to block him.
“I’m definitely going to embrace it,” he said. “You know you’re a good player if two or three players are blocking you, it means a lot. But at the same time, if two people are blocking me, that means one person is wide open, so I think of it as a great thing, but it’s also a great thing to help other players to show out on our team.”
Walled Lake Central opens the 2015 football season on Thursday, August 28th at home against Detroit East English Village Prep.