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Combine snub Oluwole Betiku Jr. impresses at Illinois Pro Day

Illinois edge Oluwole Betiku Jr. was a surprise omission from the Combine, but he made up for it during his school’s Pro Day earlier this week.

Pro Days are ongoing and will last through April. Alabama’s April 9 Pro Day is believed to be the last one scheduled before the NFL Draft, April 23-25. Click here to view NFL.com’s pro day schedule.

The issue with Betiku is his inexperience and the general lack of tape on him, as he transferred from USC to Illinois after getting little playing time. In his one – and only – season to receive consistent playing time, Betiku tallied 9 sacks and 13 tackles for loss in just 10 games before declaring for the draft.


Betiku measured 6-foot-3 and 249 pounds at Monday’s Pro Day, according to the school.

Here’s how his Pro Day numbers would have stacked up against other defensive linemen at the Combine:

>>40: 4.69; third-best time

>>Vertical: 32”; 10th (tie)

>>Broad: 9’7”; 12th (tie)

>>Short shuttle: 4.26; first

>>3-cone drill: 7.26 seconds; fourth

Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2017 USC Pac-12 SO LB 2 0 2 2 0.5 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
*2019 Illinois Big Ten JR DL 10 20 17 37 13.0 9.0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Career Overall 20 19 39 13.5 9.0 0 0 0 0 2 0
USC 0 2 2 0.5 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Illinois 20 17 37 13.0 9.0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 3/10/2020.

“Regardless of what they say, they can’t measure my heart,” Betiku said, via Joey Wagner of The Pantagraph. “I’m willing to go hard and run through the wall for any team that picks me and that’s all that matters. The rest? They’re always going to say stuff. They called me a bust when I had only been playing football for a year and a half.

“At USC, they called me a bust. They said I was the worst five-star. They’re always going to say stuff. Growing up in my career, I learned not to pay attention to the noise. … There’s nothing that says you have to be a Hall of Famer right away.”

He’s likely an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense at the next level, although he could be considered at defensive end by teams that run a 4-3 defense.

Betiku is the No. 169 overall prospect in the latest Fanspeak-Steve big board.

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