Junior to Watch: Phillip Mbakogu
School: Hayward, Calif.
Position: Defensive End
Size and Speed: Mbakogu stands 6-foot-3, weighs 255 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.8. His bench is 350 pounds, squats 450 and power cleans 235. He also solid in the classroom with a 3.3 GPA.
Honors: Mbakogu was selected area and league Defensive Player of the Year. He was also selected junior All-America and all-state for performance in 2002.
Statistics: Mbakogu had 87 tackles and 17 sacks as a junior.
Favorite Colleges: Mbakogu has written offers from Washington, USC and Cal. “Phillip is hearing from every major school in the country,” Hayward head coach Casey Moreno. Oklahoma, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, ASU and UCLA are just of a few schools that will be taking the trek to Hayward in May. Look for many more offers to follow.
Skinny: Mbakogu plays both defensive end positions. “We move Phillip all over the place,” Moreno said. “A lot of our opponents wait to see what side of line Phillip lines up on and they run their plays accordingly.”
“The biggest compliment that Phillip received and because he’s quiet humble kid the only one he will ever talk about was when Concord (Calif.) De La Salle head coach Bob Ladouceur said that their entire offensive scheme consisted of running away from Phillip’s side,” Moreno said. “That is quite a compliment coming from the coach from arguably the best high school team in history.”
Mbakogu doesn’t show any emotion. He’s very much grounded and stays focused on the job at hand. He’s extremely explosive off the ball and is very intelligent. Mbakogu really turns it up on passing downs.
“Phillip is deadly on passing downs and just as deadly against the run,” Moreno said. “He causes a lot of problems for an offense.”
“On every down Phillip is doubled teamed and still it doesn’t work,” Moreno said. “The opposition doesn’t have a clue on how to stop him.”