When we first talked to Covina (Calif.) South Hills athlete Tobi Umodu a few weeks back, he made it pretty clear his desire was to commit early to his childhood favorite, UCLA . Umodu did just that this past Saturday at the Bruins Junior Day and we caught up with the athlete at the Nike Combine in Los Angeles on Sunday to get his thoughts.
Umodu measured out Sunday at 5-11.5, 211 pounds and showed good athleticism running a 4.75 in the 40 with a 33 inch vertical jump.
"I was hoping to run better but at least I know what I need to work on now before the Nike Camp in April," Umodu said. "I couldn't lift because my shoulder is kind of messed up but I should be ready to go in April. Hopefully I'll run in the 4.6 range, that's what I've always run before and I know I have it in me. "
Umodu is an explosive pass rusher who plays defensive end in high school but will move to linebacker in college. He spent time talking with UCLA defensive coordinator Larry Kerr about the switch while on campus Saturday.
"I'm fine with linebacker, I think I can play the position," Umodu said. "We do a lot of passing tournaments at South Hills so I'll get some experience at dropping back in to coverage and playing in space. I think that's the only question some have but I know I can do it. Coach Kerr told me he thinks I would be a great fit for them as a weak side 'backer and loves the idea of me coming off the edge in blitzing situations."
Rushing the passer is definitely Umodu's strength as a player and he earned 2nd team all-state Underclass honors a year ago after totaling 17 sacks, a feat he accomplished as a sophomore as well. As for his early commitment, Umodu said he would still like to take a few trips although he added his commitment is a solid one.
"I'm definitely committed to UCLA but I think I'll still take two or three trips," Umodu said. "I'm hearing a lot from schools like Tennessee, Colorado and Nebraska and all three could offer soon as well. I also like Cal, USC and Michigan. I'm not sure where I'll visit but I know I want to take a couple of them. I love UCLA though and I can't see anything keeping me from going there. Athletically and academically, it's just a great fit for me and I really enjoyed myself at Junior Day and feel the program is turning the corner."