Offensive lineman Sunny Odogwu talks about finally making his UCLA debut and how he stayed mentally tough while rehabbing from injuries.
— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) June 13, 2017
Four days after Miami grad transfer Sunny Odogwu announced on Twitter that he was coming to UCLA, the school made it official.
UCLA announced the signing of the 6-foot-8, 317-pound tackle Tuesday, adding Odogwu to an offensive line in need of immediate help. Schools must wait until all admission and compliance standards are met and verified before publicly announcing player signings.
Odogwu was a starter at Miami, but suffered season-ending injuries in back-to-back years. He missed the end of the 2015 season after knee surgery then suffered a broken leg during 2016. He started 14 games for the Hurricanes.
— Sunny Odogwu (@kingxonni) June 9, 2017
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.