Quick chat with Kenny Orjioke

Each of the past few years, UCLA has poached a highly touted prospect from the East coast.
In 2009 it was Damien Thigpen. In 2010 came Arimide Olaniyan. Then 2011 brought Kevin McReynolds.
This year’s Eastern special comes in safety Kenny Orjioke out of Georgia.
Orjioke is only in his second year of football, but he garnered over a dozen offers from schools across the nation including Cal, North Carolina, ASU, Oregon State and Georgia Tech.
The UCLA offer came down just over a week after Mora’s hiring and Orjioke didn’t take more than a day to jump on the offer. The 6-foot-4, 225 pound safety is originally from California where he attended JSerra Catholic High School and the opportunity to return home was too much to pass on.
Orjioke is currently being recruited to UCLA as a safety but he does have the frame to grow into an outside linebacker.
Here is a quick chat that Inside UCLA Campus Correspondent Jacob Ruffman had with Orijoke, about his commitment.

Ruffman: How long have you been looking at UCLA?
Orjioke: I have always been interested in UCLA but I didn’t look too hard until I got the offer.

JR: UCLA hadn’t been on you through the whole process, what changed?
KO: I got a call from coach (Demetrice) Martin and coach (Adrian) Klemm to see if I was interested, and I said yes, and then they offered me a few days later. They sent me some pictures of the campus and statistics and I talked to some people who had gone there and were going there and I decided to go there.

JR: What made you jump on the offer so quickly?
KO: You know, there’s nothing at UCLA I could find anywhere else. It was the whole package. I love the campus, it has a great education, coach Mora is an excellent coach, it’s in a place where there’s a lot of national exposure and UCLA is in the top 5 for getting jobs post-graduation.

JR: What is your relationship like with coach Mora?
KO: He’s a really personable guy. It was just fun talking to him and I could see myself growing very close to him and he is a guy I can trust.

JR: When are you going to take your official visit?
KO: January 13th with a few other guys.

JR: How do they plan to use you at UCLA?
KO: They want me to play safety and that’s a big reason why I committed. I want to have an opportunity to play safety in college. If I end up playing linebacker in college so be it but I want a shot at safety.

JR: I saw on Twitter you talking with some other recruits, who are you going after?
KO: Bryce Treggs and I are really close and we’ve been close since I’ve been in California; he’s a guy I’ve been talking to. Really it just comes down to the fact that I want to have a really good team in college. I want to be a part of a dominant team. I want to win a National Championship, I want to win a Pac-12 Championship. I am trying to get as many recruits as I can. I think by signing day you will see. I have a few people I think will end up committing to UCLA that are committed elsewhere.

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  • bronco4bruins

    KO sounds like he will be a knock-out. I wish him luck in recruiting other quality team players. And you know he has look-ahead smarts by mentioning that a UCLA degree will get him into the job market. Do the work and enjoy the ride.

  • Anonymous

    He’s a linebacker. I can’t see him being a safety in college.

    He’ll need to bulk up a bit and get a little more nasty.

  • Coach Thom

    I love the fact that he wants to be a safety. A tall, fast, 225 lb safety would be just what the doctor ordered. Reminds me of Steve Atwater from the Denver Broncos. What a headbusta he was…or maybe John Lynch. Very good get.


    Im really trying not to get too excited. I cant help it though. I really liked the Mora jr. hire from the jump.I hope i was right. It is looking like a good hire.LETS GO BRUINS!

  • Brock

    I HAAAAAATED the Mora hire… but so far he is making me look like an idiot and I couldn’t be happier. Hope all this aggressiveness translates to the field next year.

  • Anonymous

    How good is this pickup? Far from having Shaq Thompson signing on the dotted line. This kids a 16 year old newbie to the sport.

    Trojans still have a smile on there face when they go to bed every night.

    All in all not a bad recruiting week.

  • BruinFaithful

    Sounds like a great pick up. But I think you all are missing the biggest point.

    We were able to get a kid from across the country, with some quality offers, without even seeing the Campus. I mean he committed based on some pictures of the Campus, some educational statistics, and good ol recruiting.

    This proves what I have been echoing for a long time. UCLA is still a prime destination. Inspite of all the supposed obstacles at UCLA, there are still things you can’t build. Try doing this at Oregon or some other school. UCLA with the right coaching, can be a consistent winner again.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, BruinFaithful.
    The thing I really liked, though, was that he was interested in UCLA’s post-graduation job statistics. He seems to have a grounding and acceptance that though he’d love to go pro and make his entire fortune, he will have to work another job at some point, regardless of that dream. Though we need good football players, we also need players who are serious about the classroom side of things. Coach always emphasized that. I’m excited for him to come to Westwood.

  • Anonymous

    “Who jumps onto a sinking ship. Not too bright if you ask me.”

    First off, no one asked you.

    Secondly, shouldn’t you be off tongue washing Kiffin’s boxers?

  • Anonymous

    Nothing changes with this fan base. You all get excited about stupid sound bites like this kid is interested in a degree and thats the reason to come to UCLA. He coming to UCLA because he is orig from SoCal and UCLA offered this 16 yr old with 2 years of HS football experience a Sholie. He will be a work in progress and that always seems good enough for this fan base. I hope I’m wrong and Mora can mentor kids from thee star to five star players. Not till then, will we be able to compete for the whole enchilada.

    Don’t forget the expectations we all got from this blog about how good our D-line was suppose to be. I’m just saying be realistic.

    I’m am glad to see all of the Mora hire haters are turning the corner.


    here’s the kids highlights. he’s a very good safety, should be a 5 star, but got snubbed because of the ‘lack of experience’. gonna be a star down the road at UCLA
    turn the volume down, some ill advised language