Hello: Mario Ojemudia Comment Count

Tim May 7th, 2011 at 5:40 PM

MI DE Mario Ojemudia, a teammate of current commit TE Devin Funchess, has joined Michigan's recruiting class with a verbal pledge.


Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
4*, #17 DT(!) NR DE NR WDE 3*, 89, NR WDE

So, all three sites agree that Ojemudia is a defensive lineman (including Scout, which calls him a tackle(!)), but, uh, they don't list him with defensive lineman dimensions. Scout, which you may recall lists him at defensive tackle, says Mario is 6-2 and 220 pounds, and ESPN is in the same neighborhood, just four pounds lighter. Rivals and 24/7 Sports both say that Mario is 215 pounds, but Rivals is the most optimistic on his height, listing him at 6-3, while 24/7 Sports credits him at merely 6-1.

As you can see Mario is likely to be emblazoned with the "undersized" label throughout his career should he end up at defensive end. I assume that will indeed be his position, because seriously? Five linebackers?

He talks about his own game on his Scout profile:

“I have great speed. I’m very aggressive and I play hard and fast. I want to work on shedding blockers. I’m trying to get bigger and stronger too.”

That "great speed" should be his main asset, as it so often is among undersized linemen. Of course, it also raises a question of "if you're fast and little, why aren't you a linebacker?"

FHH Coach John Herrington on Mario's selection to the Free Press Dream Team:

"He is relentless on defense. He doesn't stay blocked, and he gets to the football. He has great potential. He will be a great college player someday."

Herrington and a couple of Mario's well-known teammates talk about his game in the Detroit News:

The 6-3, 215-pounder is undersized in the trenches, but his power and quickness mitigates that disadvantage. So, too, does his relentless aggression. "Mario is unstoppable," said Burbridge. "You never seen him blocked. Mario is a beast." Funchess agreed: "(Ojemudia) is just an animal. He just gets the job done."

"Mario just has a motor that is unbelievable," Herrington said. "Now, he is very quiet. We're hoping that he develops as a team leader, but he is so quiet that he really has not done that yet. As far as his game, he has got to get some size. He's about 215-218. If he gets up to college and he gets up to 245, he'll just be amazing. He could be a hybrid. We've never played him [standing] up, but he's fast and he could play an outside linebacker. I think he is better down, but he's always wanted to play up as a linebacker, so we'll see."

Allen Trieu also discussed his game:

"Mario Ojemudia is quick off the ball, aggressive, and disruptive. The main knock on him is that he's about 215 pounds and has been playing out of position as a tackle. I think he will be fine at end, though, because he's so athletic.

No mention of the height being a liability at the next level.



Central Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Missouri, Stanford and Syracuse were the non-Michigan schools in pursuit of Mario. Not exactly a murderer's row, but Iowa has consistently turned middling recruits into NFL Draft picks, and Stanford is riding a wave of success without recent precedent.


Mario's junior numbers:

Ojemudia made 127 tackles on the season from his defensive end spot, including 12 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Ojemudia was a driving force behind Harrison winning their 13th championship in 2010. He was also one of only three underclassmen to be named to the Detroit Free Press Dream Team.

Those are some serious numbers, especially from the defensive tackle position, and on a team that has talent to share the tackles.

Other members of the defensive Dream Team are headed to Michigan (Brennen Beyer and Delonte Hollowell), Oregon (Jake Fisher), Florida (CB Valdez Showers), and Michigan State (Lawrence Thomas and Taiwan Jones), so to be one of two underclassmen on the team (along with fellow future Wolverine James Ross) is a big honor.


Scout and Rivals both say 4.65. That's quite precise, and considering both sites say the exact same number down to the hundredth of a second, it seems much more believable. However for a guy who's going to play defensive end in college, and is not a 4- or 5-star prospect, it seems a little fake. I deem it three FAKEs out of five.


Youtube highlights:


Take a look at a picture of Mario. At any position on the field, he'd be due for a redshirt year. He's like the reverse Brandon Graham (way too big as a high school linebacker, whereas Mario is way too small as a high school defensive tackle) Thanks to a few solid Michigan recruiting classes along the defensive line, he'll definitely have that luxury.

Following the redshirt, another year of mostly bench time to continue adding mass and learning the offense is probably advisable. By his redshirt sophomore season, he should start to work into a bigger role in the rotation, and pick up some time on special teams.

As an upperclassman, he should be able to challenge for a starting spot, becoming one of the key players by the time he graduates. His height might limit him in the NFL Draft, unless teams see him as a 3-4 OLB.


Michigan has needs along the defensive line, but with a commitment from Matt Godin possible in the near future, spots could start filling up quickly, particularly at defensive end. The Wolverines can hold out for a top strongside end (Chris Wormley pls), and focus on defensive tackles.

Going forward the Wolverines also need more offensive linemen, a quarterback, and a wide receiver. Speaking of wideouts, Michigan has thus far completed two-thirds of the Harrison hat trick, with top in-state WR Aaron Burbridge the lone missing piece. Burbridge doesn't yet have an offer, reportedly because of grades.

Once Michigan starts filling in the needs listed above, they can truly narrow focus to only the top-top prospects, and try to reel in one hell of a recruiting class.



May 7th, 2011 at 8:19 PM ^

I've heard from a couple MSU friends and they are gettting worried because the past few years seemingly came so easy for them with in-state recruiting.  When I mentioned that basically all their top-notch talent came from two HSes and those are now in play with UM, they got a little quiet and had that "oh man, it might be 20+ years before we share the B1G title again" look on their faces.


May 7th, 2011 at 5:50 PM ^

Dantonio's plan is coming together nicely....

  • Beat us 3 years in a row for the first time in 40 years
  • Win a share of the conference title for the first time in 20 years.  
  • Win 11 games for the first time since Jesus was in diapers.  
  • Play a part in RRs demise.
  • Shut off the spigot on the ONLY known pipeline of recruits to East Lansing. 


Welcome Mario.  Go Blue!


May 7th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

How am I supposed to study for finals with all of this speculation coming in today, followed by this awesome news!?

Welcome to the family Mario!


May 7th, 2011 at 5:54 PM ^

Nice!  In case anyone has forgotten, FHH has been an MSU stronghold for many years.  This is a great pick-up.

Does this guy's profile remind anyone else of Brandin Hawthorne (if you add a couple inches and about 25 pounds)?

One other thing: This guy sounds more like a RichRod recruit than a Hoke recruit.  NTTAWWD.


May 7th, 2011 at 6:00 PM ^

How? He's a high school junior at 6'2" 220? He has another year of high school, two summers before he's even at Michigan and a probable red-shirt. He doesn't seem like a RichRod recruit at all.


May 7th, 2011 at 6:21 PM ^

Should be a great pass rusher down the line and now hopefully he can recruit his teammate to be a Wolverine as well. Also scout front page implying there is possibly another commit today. Who could it be?

Its Pharaoh Brown


May 7th, 2011 at 6:06 PM ^

Fantastic addition to the team, very glad to see this decision. No creep, but I got a kick out of watching Conway play in a few HS games last year b/c he was right down the road - I think I'll make a few visits out to Harrison this year for FNL's.


May 7th, 2011 at 6:09 PM ^

State fans are claiming he committed to Michigan because State's defense is just too good (he wouldn't play early there).  They seriously have no clue what losing all these recruiting battles means for their future


May 7th, 2011 at 6:23 PM ^

I love that first pic of him. I have said for a while that he looks like the crazy General in the movie "Blood Diamond".  lol


"Geht ame dat DIAHMUND!"

Will Vereene

May 7th, 2011 at 6:26 PM ^

That was a complete shocker! I am really impressed with Mario's  attitude about success both on and off the field. 23 ACT is impressive and on the downside of the curve.

I wonder if he will actually major in engineering when he gets to the U, given the location of the engineering school and the time commitment with the football program and all.

Little Brown J…

May 7th, 2011 at 7:10 PM ^

Did he say he wanted to major in Engineering?

If I remember correctly, Patrick Omameh was the only football player in the College of Engineering, but he has since swtiched to LS&A.  It would take a truly exceptional student athlete to play football at Michigan and study engineering.  Studying engineering is hard enough for me and I can't imagine what it would be like if I had to work around a football schedule.  Not saying he can't do it, just saying it will be difficult if he goes that route.  Best of luck to him and welcome, Mario!


May 8th, 2011 at 1:23 AM ^

As far as I can remember Omameh's 28 ACT is the best I have seen for any Michigan football player. He also came with a 4.0 gpa and his HS is not bad (I went to a HS in the same league as DeSales). I remember seeing his major listed as sociology, then switched to engineering, then back to sociology. If any player was going to actually major in engineering it was Omameh.

I think Ron Thompson also says he wants to major in engineering on his scout profile (reporting a 2.7 gpa). I always question when I hear an athlete saying he wants to major in engineering but maybe one of these guys can prove me wrong.

Remember Wayne Lyons going to Stanford with something like a 4.96gpa? His ACT was a 22, so I wonder if Ojemudia gets similar props for being a great student like Lyons did (doubt it). Actually Omameh looks like a genius compared to Lyons.


May 8th, 2011 at 11:38 AM ^

is in the engineering school. I've taken an engineering class with him.

Also, not to sound like a dick, but if someone told me they wanted to major in engineering with a 23 on the ACT I would tell them that was too low. I think the avg score of people in the engineering school is much higher than that.


May 7th, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

I really like his film. He seems to have a lot of strength for a 215 lb guy, plus the speed. He could be pretty nasty with some more weight on him.


May 7th, 2011 at 6:45 PM ^

with the recruiting so far... A QB and a few 4 or 5* guys would be great, but honestly, I am happy to have players who are onboard and want to come to Michigan. I think Hoke and his team have an infectious passion for the program, and while Mattison is no harm to the process, I think positivity breeds positivity. If they can coach these kids up and put them in a position to achieve, I will feel very good. 

That said, I am looking forward to seeing the results on the field; until then, feeling... confident?




May 7th, 2011 at 7:05 PM ^

This guy should be a good fit at weakside DE once he bulks up a little. And again, it looks like we've picked up another good student in view of the Stanford offer.


May 7th, 2011 at 8:49 PM ^

A quote from a former teammate on that youtube highlight video

This kid was honestly one of the hardest people I ever had to go against everyday in practice, and this was when he was a sophomore. He's got Tayshaun Prince-like arms that once he grabs ya in your chest pads, IT'S OVER.

Sounds good to me.