This would be a great get. Hopefully we get both Olaniyans. It says he's a hybrid linebacker, but is he a quick or a spinner?
An Interview with Aramide Olaniyan
I recently spoke with VA LB Aramide Olaniyan about the importance of academics in his college choice and his recent decision to take visits to other schools. Aramide is a linebacker prospect currently committed to Duke, which is obviously one of the better academic programs in the country.
Olaniyan's current high school had a lot to do with his emphasis on academics. “I go to a private boarding school right now, and I usually have about 3 hours of homework every night,” he said. “I could’ve gone to a public school, but I really like challenging myself every day, and thought this was one of the best schools in the area.”
If you talked to 100 recruits, 90 of them would say that academics are important. Not many would really mean it. Olaniyan is one who means it. “I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, so I’ll probably major in political science,” he said.
When asked if he loved football or academics more, he said, “That’s a tough question. I don’t think there’s a single person playing college football that doesn’t want to make it to the NFL. I would say they’re about the same for me. I love both of them equally. If the NFL doesn’t work out, then I would love to have a great degree.”
If Michigan's strong program in political science isn't enough of a draw, then Michigan's new emphasis on hybrid players might help. Olaniyan's familiar with the position. “I actually play a hybrid linebacker position right now," he said. "Sometimes I have my hand down, and sometimes I drop back. Michigan is really the only one recruiting me for the hybrid, everyone else is really linebacker. I have talked to coach Dews about it, and we’ve stayed in good contact so far.”
As per usual these days, Michigan's commits are doing their best to recruit Olaniyan too. Austin White struck up a friendship with Olaniyan at the Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 in Orlando. “We hung out a lot down in Florida," said Olaniyan. "Every time there was some down time, we were hanging out together, he’s a cool guy. He was telling me about Michigan, and how great it is, he was definitely recruiting me. I got his number, and we’ve stayed in touch.”
Olaniyan says he's still firmly committed to Duke despite his desire to visit other schools. “I just want to be in a situation where I know I made the right choice," he said. "I want to visit all the schools that I like, and weigh my options; just make sure I made the right choice. I don’t want to end up with any regrets, and I just want to know that I made the best decision.” The Blue Devil coaches know that he’s taking his visits and are confident that he’ll stay committed to their program.
Olaniyan plans to visit with Duke, Michigan, UCLA, and North Carolina. UCLA’s visit has already been scheduled for their game against ASU on November 21st. He’s not sure of the exact date that he will be visiting Michigan, but he knows it will happen.
My last question, to test his commitment, was what he would do if he really enjoyed any of his visit. “Well, I don’t know," he laughed. "If I like them better, then I’ll sit down with my parents, and make sure they feel comfortable. I’ll just take all my visits, and see where I stand, and how I feel about all the schools. We’ll see what happens.”
At 6'2" 200 that would suggest the Stevie Brown Spinner but he talks about playing with his hand down, so not sure.
I am also confused by this. If he is being recruited to play the hybrid DE/LB spot, isn't that the spot that we have Paskorz and Wilkins already committed for? Didn't we just turn down a few other guys for that same spot (Rush and Onwukaife)?
My guess would be that the coaching staff probably feels that Olaniyan has significantly more upside than the other players that have been recruited to play that position.
Also what was on here about Wilkins ending up at strongside defensive end might happen. If we get this guy Wilkin's could move and we could have Paskorz and Olaniyan at deathbacker.
I would like to see him take over for Mouton in a couple years if he decides to commit to us instead of Duke. I think he plays SAM/WILL. Good, fast athlete with tremendous instincts and a very high football IQ. Lets get him!
Sounds like a really smart kid. It's good to hear prospects talking about life after football (or without it). Thanks for the interview as always, Tom.
Just keep him way the hell away from Harbaugh, who'll tell him the coaches will lock him in a closet so he can't take history classes.
Go to Duke and get a great degree, but probably play on a terrible team.
Go to Michigan and get a great degree, but also play on a great team.
That's the way I look at it at least.
Wherever he goes, I wish this kid well. He sounds like the kind of player any team should want.
Would be a great pickup. I think his case is different from Onwukaife and Rush in that he is a higher end prospect you make room for. Those guys aren't.
I guess I have no basis of comparison, but RRod seems to be doing a pretty good job recruiting students like this guy. I would say this shows that he understands what the whole "Michigan Man" concept is all about in a deeper way than all the kerfluffle about his statements last year.
A breath of fresh air. Much more inspiring than the kids that say "academics matter" and go to (insert name of academically crappy school here).
Michigan does have the #2 PoliSci department in the country. If that truly is what he'd like to study, there's (almost) no better place to do it than UM. UM also sends more kids to law school on a yearly basis than any other school in the country. UM really is the perfect place for a pre-law football player.
Techinally, we are 4th in the country as the US News has a 3 way tie for first (Harvard/Princeton/Stanford). However, it is a freaking awesome department nonetheless.