MARIETTA — Azeez Ojulari finally let it all out of the box.
He opened a box and some green tissue paper and then pulled out a hat that had a lot of DawgNation Facebook Live viewers gasping.
It wasn’t quite the shade they were looking for.
Was it a bright Clemson orange? Or was it a light UGA red? Or was it just the light?
Ojulari said Florida was second. He also told reporters that Clemson and Florida led for his decision at different times.
It was UGA in the end. Ojulari said he committed to the Bulldogs because of one simple reason.
“I chose this school because I knew if football was taken away from me I would still be able to go to school and get a great education at that school,” Ojulari said.
The nation’s No. 3 weakside defensive end prospect (247Sports) will be an outside linebacker at UGA. He said Georgia coach Kirby Smart whooped and hollered the loudest when he told the staff he wanted to commit.
Ojulari also knows his depth chart.
“They were very excited,” Ojulari said. “They know that two of their senior outside linebackers will be leaving, so it is a great opportunity for me to come in and play and play early.”
It was an interesting dynamic. His father Monsuru Ojulari said after the ceremony that he liked Clemson and Auburn, but he also liked the proximity to Athens.
In the end, he realized it was his son’s decision. Current Bulldogs star Lorenzo Carter was a blueprint for Ojulari. He mentioned at the ceremony that he really admires what the former Norcross star can do.
“My role model is Lorenzo Carter,” Ojulari said. “I watch his game a lot.”
He hopes to wear Carter’s No. 7 in Athens next season.
What Azeez Ojulari brings to UGA
The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder is the strongest player on the Marietta High School team. But the reality is he is an athletic marvel. He’s only 5 pounds from a 345-pound power clean, which would be a school record.
He can bench press over 300 pounds and also squat more than 500 pounds. Yet he’s also been measured with a 39.8-inch vertical leap.
His combine testing at Nike’s The Opening this year placed him among the nation’s most explosive athletes. He came in 15th out of all “box” players in SPARQ rating. That lumped him in there with defensive linemen, defensive ends and also Class of 2018 and 2019 linebackers.
Ojulari mentioned that he does not plan to enroll early.
“My freshman goals are to come in and work hard and earn my stripes,” Ojulari said. “Come in. Show them I can play and get in the rotation to start and just work hard.”
Ojulari sounded like the ceremony and decision he shared was the end to his recruiting process. He doesn’t plan to take any more college trips. “I think I’m done,” he said. “I don’t think I will take any more visits. My family and I are just ready to get it over with.”