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Senior Bowl 2018 Interview – EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

Steve Shoup

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo – Edge (Oklahoma)



Hgt:  6’ 1⅜”

Wgt: 243 lbs.

Hand 9¼”

Arm:  34½”

Wing 79¼“


PROFILE:  2017 (Redshirt Senior): First Team All-American (Walter Camp) … Second Team All-American (AP, FWAA, Sporting News) … semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, Butkus Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy … named the co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team by the league’s coaches … started all 13 games … named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after posting five tackles, 1.0 sack, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and five quarterback hurries against Texas (10/14)

2016 (Redshirt Junior): Named second-team All-Big 12 by league’s coaches and AP … his 9.0 sacks tied Eric Striker for most in OU single-season history by a linebacker and were third most in Big 12 overall on year … paced squad and tied for fifth in Big 12 with 12.0 tackles for loss (for 62 yards)


On how his game compares to that of the Broncos Von Miller especially in the way he plays the run

All week, after watching game film, practice film, I’m watching Von Miller. Every time the Broncos are playing, I’m watching Von Miller. Trying to steal a move or steal a tendency. I think we’re very similar. He can be very strong at the point of attack and then can use that against you. He can come at you super strong, make you come at him and then slip in. He plays with you, he plays chess – and I try to do the same thing.


On whether he sees himself at the next level as a guy who can do it all, including playing the run or does he see himself as purely a pass rusher

I see myself as a swiss army knife. I can play “Will” linebacker, I can play up on the line, I can drop from the line, I can play weak side defensive end, it doesn’t matter. I did it all at Oklahoma.


On how at the Senior Bowl there is a big emphasis on the one-on-one drills and whether he is excited about doing battle with the big offensive linemen

I’ve been waiting for this since the beginning of the year! Man, those one-on-one drills, that’s what I do. That’s my bread and butter. When the one-on-one drills start – put the camera on me!


Having indicated that he believes he can “do it all”, he was asked what his favorite thing to do was

Yeah Steve, my favorite thing to do is pass rush. I’m a pass rusher! I can do a lot of things well but there’s no joy like getting to the quarterback, knocking the ball out and putting him on his butt.


On what this past season at Oklahoma was like for him, being a leader on defense and considering how far they went

It definitely had it’s ups and downs. I had a great season as far as how I enjoyed it and how I prepared for it. It was a lot of fun playing with those guys. I got to play with the best player in college football – a college legend. Not everyone can say that. I got to play in the Rose Bowl. I couldn’t ask for a better time at OU.


On what might be a couple of things he’d like to showcase to NFL teams that they may not know about him

Oh, I can play the run really well. A lot of people think that I’m just a novelty player – just a pass rusher. I’m here this week just to show there’s a lot of things I can do well. I can play the run, I can drop back into coverage, I can cover running backs just as well as pass rushing.


On his top off-the-field trait that he will bring to an NFL team

Leadership. I’m a lead by example type of guy. I’m not a super big vocal guy unless I need to be. I do everything right. I encourage guys to do more as far as like watching film or drills to get better. I try to change the culture in the locker room. You know there’s locker rooms where a lot of guys just do the bare minimum, they just do their job. I feel like that’s not how it’s supposed to be. If you want to be on a winning team – I’ve been on winning teams – and winning teams, they’re always doing extra.


On what he thinks will be the biggest adjust for him going on to the NFL level   

The biggest adjustment might just be the speed of the game. But you know, that’s normal changing levels of the game. I feel like I’ll quickly adjust. I’m very mature – I feel like I can come in and make an impact immediately.


On what kind of advice he has gotten from former players who have moved on to the NFL about preparing for the draft process

I have a number of guys from OU in the league right now and I’ve talked to all of them. They all just tell me just be yourself. When you go out there and it’s time to play football – play football. That’s what you’ve been doing and that’s what got you to this point.


On what one player that he went up against who was not only a challenge but who made him a better player

Orlando Brown – yeah, Orlando Brown, man! I don’t know if you ever watched him play, but that guy’s nasty! And he doesn’t save it from me. I feel it too. Every time we scrimmage, I know I got to come with my A++ game. I gotta come ready to go to war. Once he got there and we went at it like that, my game just began to skyrocket. I got way better really fast!


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