Grad transfer OL Sunny Odogwu chooses UCLA

Jim Mora’s search for grad transfer talent came up big Friday as the Bruins landed the commitment of former Miami right tackle Sunny Odogwu.

Odogwu chose UCLA over Michigan and can add immediate help to an much-maligned offensive line. While earning his bachelor’s degree at Miami, he started 14 games but dealt with major injuries late in his career.

The 6-foot-8, 325-pound right tackle missed the final game of the 2015 season due to knee surgery and only lasted five games of the 2016 year after he broke his lower leg in a game against Florida State.

A native of Nigeria, Odogwu came to the United States when he was 16 after his father died. He originally came to pursue a basketball career, but found football as a senior in high school. He’s known to be personable and warm, just as his name would suggest.

“That’s who I am, that’s who God made me and I appreciate that,” he told the Miami Herald in 2015. “But as a player I just put my head down and go to work every day knowing that the coaches have my best interest and the team’s best interest at heart.”

UCLA’s offensive line struggled last year, but returned every starter except for left tackle Conor McDermott. If Odogwu sticks at right tackle, he’ll displace Kenny Lacy, who took over the spot during spring practice. Lacy did not particularly shine during spring camp as he repeatedly lost one-on-one reps against UCLA’s fast edge rushers. UCLA’s starting offensive line, from left to right, during spring practice was Kolton Miller, Andre James, Scott Quessenberry, Najee Toran and Lacy.

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  • Richard

    Sunny day in LA, esp at U CCCC LA.

    HUGE get. Will start at RT & prob be the best OL on the team. Don’t be surprised to see him slide down to OG in short yardage situations.

    • JustOwns

      If that were true, why would Miami not start him on their O-Line? I’m glad Mr. O is a Bruin, but let’s wait and see how he adapts to the rigors of UCLA FB.

      • 88 Straight

        He was a starter and broke his ankle last year. They wanted him to share playing time with the guy that filled in and has 2 years left. He has a great back story as well. We need O-Line depth. It remains to be seen how good he is, but he appears to be much more mobile than Bunche.

        • Richard

          and stronger BUT his strength is a disservice to his size. He needs an intensive weight / strength!!!! ……&…. stamina regimen.
          He’s behind in all these areas.
          Been sitting around, catching rays and not developing.

          Huge get. More shelf ready than all of them.

          # Caleb Benenoch 2.0 !!!

      • BruinBob

        He started 14 games in three seasons for Miami, including the first four last season prior to a season-ending ankle injury.

      • Ray

        “Rigors of UCLA FB?” That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time!

  • Tyler Durden

    Dude has a good sense of humor too. Watch some of his old interviews. Funny

  • Paul

    Hopefully he’s better than the last Miami grad transfer OT to play for the Bruins.

    • Richard

      You’re better than Malcombe Bunche. Carried all his bulk in his upper body – no strength, no technique, C- in pass pro.
      He’s playing in the CFL

  • Danny

    Welcome and congratulations. Looks like a win win

  • Coach Thom

    Sunny ☀️ is certainly a welcome addition to our team. Coach Hank will work on Sunny’s balance and agility. Developing foot quickness in a 6’8″ 320 pound behemoth will be challenging, but I believe Coach Hank is up to the task. Keep reeling in the Big Uglies, boys.

    • Richard

      Yes, if he stays at OT he needs much more nimble feet than he has exhibited to date. McDermott had pretty quick feet.

      If he moves to OG he has to get a lot stronger. He’s BIG but I don’t see a lot strength vs. say, Xavier Sua ‘Filo who played at 305lbs but was VERY strong

  • Tyler Durden

    He looks a lot like Caleb on the field. Cross our fingers.

  • grave soul

    Welcome to the most dynamic university in the country, Sunny Odogwu!!
    We look forward to you showcasing your talents, your work ethic, and being a leader on the team.

    • Jethro G Sabbath

      You sound desperate.