Profile: Bobby Okereke
Location: Santa Ana (Calif.) Foothill
Weight: 215 pounds
Recruiting: Okereke blew up this past spring and became one of the hottest prospects in the region, almost over night. Oregon and USC offered on the same day and the two were the early front runners until Stanford offered. Okereke said Stanford is the school he has always wanted to go to, even before he started playing football and once they offered, this one was over.
What to Like: Okereke does everything well and is one of the most versatile linebackers in the region. He can play with his hand down and rush the passer or play off the line and moves around very well in space. He has an explosive burst, can get up the field and is a vicious tackler. He has powerful hands and does a great job disengaging from blockers. He’s a smart, instinctive player, despite being relatively new to the game and already shows an advanced feel in coverage and breaking on the ball. His ability to rush the passer, play the run and drop back in coverage is unlike any other ‘backer out West and he has some significant upside to him.
What may be of concern: No real concerns with Okereke but if you want to nit-pick, you can say the athlete doesn’t have the ideal frame for a 3-4 scheme. Okereke actually has a big safety frame but will play outside linebacker for the Cardinal. At 6-1, 215 pounds, Okereke does have the frame to add on a good 15 pounds or so without losing a step and it will be surprising if he doesn’t see the field early for the Cardinal.
Overall Analysis: The recruitment of Okereke shows how far Stanford has come as a program. While Pac 12 rivals Oregon and USC offered early, the Cardinal waited patiently for the athlete to camp with them first before offering. Five years ago, this is a player that might have jumped on the offer from USC the minute it came in but the Cardinal were the dream school for Okereke and they were able to easily make up the ground on the schools who had offered before them. He’s a very good looking prospect who will likely outperform several players rated higher than him just because of his work ethic and the coaching he’ll get at Stanford.