A king will be playing for Michigan football.
David Ojabo goes by King Ojabo on Twitter.
“I gave myself that nickname because David in the Bible was a king,’’ Ojabo said Wednesday from Scotland via his Twitter account.
The 6-foot-4, 233-pound defensive end from Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., committed to Michigan last week.
Ojabo is an ambassador for football in Scotland. He and his family moved from Nigeria to Aberdeen, Scotland in 2007. He came to Blair Academy two years ago and played soccer and basketball.
But now his goal is to play in the NFL, and he believes defensive coordinator Don Brown and coach Jim Harbaugh can make that happen.
A 3-star prospect in the 2019 class, Ojabo is ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the 32nd best strong-side defensive end in the country and the 10th best player in the state of New Jersey. The Wolverines have been successful in the Garden State since former N.J. high school coach Chris Partridge joined the staff.
“I just found coach Brown and Coach Harbaugh to be down to earth guys,’’ said Ojabo. “Both are legendary coaches so it’ll be an honor to play for them. I thought they told me the truth. They didn’t sugar coat anything. I like Ann Arbor. I felt comfortable there with the school and the players. I just figured it would be the best fit for me. I felt they wanted me as much as I wanted them.
“Since I committed I found out there are Michigan fans everywhere.’’
When he first came to America, Ojabo thought basketball would be his ticket to success, but once he started taking down quarterbacks, his plan changed.
Last year, he walked into coach Jack Saylor’s office after basketball teammate Jayson Oweh (Penn State) was receiving offers on the football team. They were about the same size. Ojabo asked if he could come out for football. Saylor said yes.
After his first season, Ojabo said he received 30 scholarship offers.
“He’s a freak athletically,’’ Saylor said
The conversion to football didn’t take long.
“My strengths are my speed, agility and my motor,’’ Ojabo said. “I enjoy football because it teaches you how to play as a team while incorporating deep life lessons throughout the sport. I will miss basketball because it is what took me to the states in the first place.’’
Athletically, he’s above average, but Ojabo has a lot to learn about the game.
“I need to work on my overall knowledge of the game,’’ Ojabo said. “I need to get stronger. The only way is up from here.’’
He said Scotland is watching and he wanted to be an example to young athletes.
“I do it for Scotland,’’ Ojabo said. “I’m going to use my platform to inspire the youth back home to come overseas and chase their dreams.’’