basketball Edit

USF adds 2020 center to its class

USF landed its second prospect out of Oak Hill (Va.) Academy in the past two recruiting cycles today when Emmanuel Okpomo signed a National Letter of Intent to play for Brian Gregory’s Bulls.

According to Okpomo USF began recruiting him at the beginning of the school year once transferred from Huntington (W. Va.) Prep to Oak Hill Academy. Early last week reported that USF was “leading the pack” for the 6-foot-10, 220-pound center and that Okpomo was close to a decision.

In addition to USF, Okpomo also held offers from Akron, Connecticut, East Tennessee State, Houston and Virginia Tech plus had several high major programs trying to get involved.

Oak Hill Academy center Emmanuel Okpomo
Oak Hill Academy center Emmanuel Okpomo (Courtesy of Oak Hill Academy)

The Bulls coaching staff was able to get Okpomo on campus for an official visit that began on October 27 and continued to show him love. Today those efforts, led by assistant coach Tom Herrion, resulted in a commitment and a signature on a National Letter of Intent.

“I like the coaching staff, good players to have as teammates and the environment is exciting,” Okpomo said about USF. I just found more love from them and also was sure it's the best decision and the best fit for me."

With Antun Maricevic graduating in the spring, it was important for USF to land a center this recruiting cycle. In Okpomo the Bulls get an athletic, high motor mobile big man with length – his standing reach and wingspan could be top-ten in The American – who rebounds and will protect the rim.

While his offense may be a bit behind his defense right now, it does not hinder how high Okpomo’s ceiling is.

Omhar Carter, Director of MBA Hoops (Mississippi Basketball Association), took Okpomo into his home and adopted him when Okpomo was 13 years old. We asked Carter what the USF staff told him that they liked most about Okpomo.

“They love his ability to defend, switch on picks, they love his ability to rebound and they love his upside. He has a 7-foot-7 wingspan so they love his upside and where he’ll be with a couple of years of development. They think he’ll be very special for them.”

Okpomo gives coach Gregory and his staff an explosive anchor inside, someone that has a nose for the basketball and is a threat to block almost any shot around the rim.

Okpomo becomes the second member of the Bulls’ 2020 recruiting class joining four-star guard Caleb Murphy. With Mayan Kiir leaving the program at the end of the current semester, the Bulls will have one more scholarship to offer. Possibly to a mid-season transfer into the program.