March 21, 2010

Ukwuachu Plays a Versatile Role

In football, the word "tweener" usually refers to a player who plays two similar positions, be it defensive tackle and end, running back and wide receiver, or even safety and cornerback. When looking at the role of Samuel Ukwuachu for the Pearland Oilers, though, the word takes on somewhat of a different meaning.

"I'm a defensive end, but I also play wide receiver, too," Ukwuachu said. "I've played receiver since middle school. I didn't start playing on the line until sometime during my freshman year."

At 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, Ukwuachu has the frame needed to play defensive end at the next level - a position the Pearland standout has more than taken a liking to since his transition.

"I love it," Ukwuachu said of playing on the line. "It lets me release my anger. It gets me hyped up. I love being smart and reading what the offense is doing. It's something I've gotten very comfortable with."

Currently, Ukwuachu holds offers from Illinois, Northwestern, SMU, and Baylor. Since receiving his offer from the Bears, Ukwuachu has stayed in regular contact with Baylor assistant Theo Young.

""He's a cool, laid back person," Ukwuachu said. "He seems genuinely interested in getting to know me and my parents. He wants me to visit sometime either during spring practice or on their next junior day."

Other than Illinois, who sees him fitting into their defense at their "bandit" position - a defensive end/linebacker hybrid - every school interested in Ukwuachu is recruiting him purely as a defensive end. Last season, the Pearland standout notched 34 tackles, two sacks, and one interception to go along with his five catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Although he has yet to take any visits, Ukwuachu plans on taking trips to Baylor, SMU, Illinois, Tulsa, and Texas A&M.

"I'm just looking for a place where I fit in and feel accepted. Tradition is important, too, but I'm really just looking for a place where I feel like part of the family."

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