No one came in to the NorCal Nike camp with more hype than Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral defensive lineman Ekom Udofia and he more than lived up to it. Udofia already has offers from just about every school in the country and after watching him compete on Saturday, it’s easy to see why.
Udofia, 6-1, 288 pounds is the top defensive tackle we’ve seen this year and should probably be mentioned among the top 10 prospects in the nation. Heading in to the camp, we felt Udofia was the No. 1 player in the West region and still feel that way. The tackle tested off the charts running a 5.09 in the 40, 4.65 in the shuttle, jumped 31 inches in the vertical and did 48 reps on the bench, the most of any player on the Nike tour this year. His 102.3 *SPARQ Rating is the second highest score of anyone tested during the Nike tour this year.
It's always fun to compare a player's testing marks from year to year. Udofia attended the NorCal Nike camp a year ago measuring in at 6-1, 265 pounds. His speed numbers, not surprisingly, were better as he clocked a 4.68-40 and a 4.16 shuttle. That could be attributed to not only the fact that he weighed 20 pounds less but also the fact that we tested on Stanford's fast astro turf field a year ago.
This year, we tested on the grass which was wet all day and also very high and shaggy. Udofia did 29 reps a year ago and jumped 29.5 inches so he actually gained two inches in the vertical despite the weight gain.
In the position drills, Udofia was a monster and has all the tools to play early at the next level. He’s big, strong and fast but is also very athletic and can mover laterally like no other tackle we’ve seen. He was unblockable in the one on one drills and had some great encounters with the Barresi’s twins, Ben and Joe from North Edmond (Okla.) but we’ll get to that later.
At one point in the pass rushing drills after Udofia had his shirt held for the fourth or fifth play in a row and was grabbed around the neck, one of the college coaches in attendance yelled out, ‘is there any lineman here than can block this guy without using an LAPD choke hold.’ The fact is, we don’t think there’s an offensive lineman anywhere in the country that can block Udofia one on one and that’s why, by a hair, the tackle earned Camp MVP honors over Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman linebacker Ryan Reynolds.
In one sequence, Ben Barresi, who had been dominating every defensive linemen he went up against, called out Udofia and said he wanted a piece of him. Udofia stepped up and made a great outside and in move to stay unbeaten in the drills.
“I had a great time out here,” Udofia said. “I came last year and was out to make a name for myself but this year, I just wanted to compete to see where I stood with all the other great players in the region.”
Udofia has offers from schools all over the country and said he has a solid top five right now.
“USC is my leader over Miami, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Stanford,” Udofia said. “I want to take all five of my trips before I make my decision because I really don’t know what is out there. I won’t visit Stanford officially because I’ve been there so many time since my brother plays here but they’re still one of my top schools.”
*Taking the standard measurements of the football combine, the SPARQ Rating weighs and combines the 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, vertical jump and bench press into a single number that measures an athlete’s overall athleticism. Thus, football players can track the progress of their training, through occasional tests, and compare SPARQ Ratings with teammates, training partners and competitors. To learn more about the SPARQ Rating, go to www.sparqtraining.com.