BERGEN COUNTY, N.J.- Following National Signing day, high school standout Michael Onyemaobi has decided to become one of the newest Texas Christian University (TCU) Horned Frogs.
Listed as a cornerback and wide receiver, Onyemaobi will most likely play on the defensive side of the ball during his tenure at TCU. Showing great maturity, he explained to me on my radio show 60 Minute Overtime (clip is below): “At the high school level, everybody likes catching the ball, everybody likes making plays. But, I do understand that I have [an] … assignment on the defensive side of the ball. As far as my technique … and my coverage ability, fitting into TCU’s schemes, I think I fit perfectly in as a Defensive Back, whether that be as: a corner, a nickel, or a safety. I’m longer, I’m physical, and I’m fast, so I’ll be able to keep up with the receivers. That’s part of the reason why they recruited me the way they did. They wanted to add some length to the secondary without having to sacrifice speed… I can bring both of the team makes me pretty versatile”.
Versatile, he is. With his background has a wide receiver, Onyemaobi will also have a distinct advantage over his opponents. By bringing his experience as a high school wide receiver to TCU’s secondary, Onyemaobi looks to sure up a TCU defense, which ranked 76th among all Division I in total defense. TCU finished directly in the middle of the Big 10 in 2016. He explains: “There [are] just certain things that you know being a receiver. Just the little things, the basics can help you at corner [because] you can [anticipate] where he’s going at the release of the ball. [It is] … like mirroring yourself.
The TCU Football program has its fair share of notable alumni, including current Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and LaDainian Tomlinson, of the 2017 Professional Football Hall of Fame class. When I asked if any alumni had reached out to him upon his signing, Onyemaobi said: “absolutely. It’s been blown up in terms of alumni hitting me up.” Undeterred, he told me that he was most excited to hear personally from his new coaching staff, not even “the bigger, or the more celebrity-type status people”.
Accustomed to wearing #5 in an ode to Tomlinson’s career in purple, Onyemaobi realizes he will have to change his number upon arriving at campus. Growing up, he always watched Tomlinson play at TCU, and “that #5 was very influential to me at an early age. For me, its huge being even able to look at [that retired jersey]. [He’s] a legend and that’s his number. He’s done what nobody else could have possibly done in that [jersey].” TCU retired Tomlinson’s #5 in 2005. “I have not spoken to LT. That is one person I do want to talk to, for sure. That’s somebody I’ve watched week in and week out that would be incredible to have the opportunity to speak to him”. Your move, LT!
Recruited by schools in the Pac 12 SEC, Big 10, Big 12, and more, Onyemaobi, a high school senior, had a life-changing choice to make. After narrowing it down to a top three (TCU, Nebraska, Iowa State University), Onyemaobi settled on TCU because it “had everything [he] was looking for in an institution”. Offering “a program where [he] had the option of getting on the field early [coupled with] the academic excellence of the institution” Onyemaobi believes “[TCU] will [be a] great fit”. Onyemaobi plans to study business administration and sports management or legal studies and sports management.
— Michael D. Onyemaobi (@M_Onyemaobi) February 1, 2017
Onyemaobi seems to already have fully adopted the culture of the Horned Frogs, as much as he possibly can. By using the hashtag #CarterBoys17 on social media, he explained to me that it is about “paying respects and adopting the culture, [just] taking it and running with it”. His excitement is palpable. As for his vision for TCU, “[having] a defensive minded coach, I believe that the sky is the limit and we should be able to take it as far as we desire to.” Of course, Onyemaobi has an ultimate plan for when his career is over at TCU: “God works … in mysterious ways. I see myself … playing in the NFL”.
Michael Onyemaobi 2020 NFL Draft.
— Michael D. Onyemaobi (@M_Onyemaobi) February 14, 2017