Who is Levi Onwuzurike?
The 3-star defensive end was a mystery man among the official visitors at the UGA-Alabama game. Onwuzurike wasn’t even being recruited by UGA at this time last month.
Yet he’s gone from not having any recruiting attention to an offer to being on campus for an official visit in less than a month’s time.
How does that happen? It is a little bit of being in the right place at the right time on two fronts. Greg Little, the 5-star offensive lineman who also visited UGA this weekend, is his teammate at Allen High School in Texas.
Little is rated as the No. 1 offensive lineman in the nation for 2016. When UGA assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Bryan McClendon traveled to Texas on Sept. 11 to see Little, he spied Onwuzurike.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder was hard to miss.
“They saw his video when they came into town to check on Greg,” Allen coach Tom Westerberg said. “UGA does not generally recruit this area. But they saw some tape and loved it and brought that back to the rest of their coaches and they really loved it. Then they got a chance to get him on campus.”
Onwuzurike was also in the right place at the right time at another Allen game last month. That was the tape that led him to his eventual scholarship offer.
“We blocked a PAT and he returned it back 97 yards and pulled away from everybody when he did it,” Westerberg said. “Nobody could catch him and then him being 6 feet, 3 inches and 250 pounds tends to stand out.”
UGA, Baylor, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Washington and Texas Tech are among his biggest offers. Westerberg also said that Arkansas has offered Onwuzurike, but not Texas or Texas A&M.
He plays with his hand on the ground, but will also move inside at the high school level. He characterized Onwuzurike’s decision as “much more wide open” than Little’s choice.
“Levi really hasn’t narrowed it down yet,” Westerberg said.
Westerberg said the results are mixed when Little and Onwuzurike go head-to-head in practice.
“It a good match-up,” he said. “It looks like it should look between two guys who are going to play on Saturdays. Sometimes Levi wins and sometimes Greg wins.”
Here’s the tape of Levi’s dominant performance against Viera, Fla. from earlier this year. His blocked extra point comes at the 1:49 mark of the first highlight reel. The second of the two highlight clips below are his best plays from 2014 and 2015. Check them both out. He’s very explosive and powerful in the trenches.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.