football

Imeokparia is a name to remember

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Running back Ed Imeokparia is a fast-rising prospect out of Newark, Dela. The 5-foot-11, 186-pounder already holds three scholarship offers and expects plenty more to come in the near future.
"I've got handwritten offers from Michigan State, Stanford and Colorado," he said. "I have about 30 other schools that are about to offer after they saw me at Nike. I wouldn't say I really have a number one school right now as I like the schools pretty equally. I'm just going to take my time with the process."
Despite not naming any outright favorites, Imeokparia has four schools that are standing out for his services.
"I'm really looking at Virginia Tech, Florida State, Penn State and Tennessee a lot. Southern Cal and Georgia are also definitely in the picture as they have been showing a lot of interest since Nike," he said. "I like those four schools because they are all very prestigious programs that are looking for running backs. The only one that doesn't totally need a back is Florida State, since they have Antone Smith who is a redshirt freshman. I still like their tradition and environment a lot though.
"I like coach Cavanaugh from Virginia Tech. He is a real nice guy that is an old school recruiter. He keeps it straight up with me on everything that is going on. I also like that they gave the ball to Brandon Ore a lot last year. That showed me that they give freshman running backs an opportunity and if I go there I'd possibly do the same thing. One other thing I like about Virginia Tech is the also environment. If Virginia Tech were to offer, they'd be near the top of my list.
"As for Tennessee, I went there last weekend for a visit. Coach Luke showed me around the facilities and I really liked the environment there. Meanwhile, I like Penn State because they are one of the best schools in the region."
In general, what is the star running back looking for out of a school?
"I want to go to a winning program that has a history of bowls every year," he stated. "I'd like to see some early playing time right away as a freshman and I want to be able to identify with the coaches. I'm open to living out west still, but I'd say Southern Cal is about the only school I'm seriously considering there."
Recently Imeokparia attended the Nike Camp at Penn State where he obviously impressed scouts.
"It was a pretty good experience," he said. "I ran the second fastest 40-time at the event with a 4.41-second 40. I was actually a little disappointed by my time because they didn't let us run with track shoes. I think I could have gotten my time down to the low 4.3's if I had different shoes on.
"As for the one-on-one drills, I dominated them and scored every time I touched the football. I felt like I showed the coaches there when I'm 100% healthy I'm one of the best running backs on the East Coast if not the country. I also felt I showed I have good speed, agility and versatility as I can also play the slot."
Primarily why Imeokparia hasn't been noticed yet in recruiting circles is because he played defense as a sophomore and missed half of his junior year due to a high ankle sprain. He ended up finishing the year rushing 48 carries for 600 yards and 11 total touchdowns.
"My season was cut short by a high ankle sprain and I only got to play in five games," he said. "I'm expecting a lot bigger things from myself next year when I get to play the whole season."
Although he has a few offers and expects more in the near future, the star running back doesn't plan to make an early decision.
"I can say for certain it's not going to be early," he said. "I have thought about it, but I do want to take at least some of my official visits. I also want to see how these teams do next year."
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