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Emmanuel Ogbah Has Become More than a Great Defensive End



Everybody knows Emmanuel Ogbah is great at football. OK, not everybody. But everybody who needs to know Emmanuel Ogbah is great at football knows.

When I stood inside Jerryworld last season asking Ogbah about how close OSU had come to knocking off Florida State, he had a hint of a smile on his robust face. Like he couldn’t believe how suddenly he’d arrived on the national scene.

Those who know him best, though, say it hasn’t changed him at all.

To us, he’s the same Ogbah,” Zach Crabtree told the Oklahoman. He’s the same guy that was there when I came in as a true freshman and he was a second-string defensive end. He hasn’t changed at all.”

And why would he? As Chandler Vessels laid out in this terrific profile of No. 38, Ogbah had a no-frills upbringing that included a disciplined, structured home life.

“When you have a child, when he begins to grow up and live outside your home and you don’t hear any negative reports about him, it’s something to thank God for,” his father Richard told the O’Colly.

Ogbah had 50 tackles last season to go with 10 sacks, five deflected passes and two forced fumbles.

“He’s been really good,” Gundy agreed on Thursday. “He’s the same person. Sometimes, guys that think they’re going to be a first-round pick and don’t do as good a job at getting about getting to class and doing what they’re supposed to. He looks the same. He’s not drawing attention to himself. He says very little.[1. Gundy seems big on dudes who don’t talk.] Hasn’t pulled himself out of anything.

“His body looks good. He’s been a good leader for our team. His demeanor and temperament has not changed at all.”

Ogbah told Vessels the leadership hasn’t come easy.

“I’m not real vocal, and I think coach (Mike) Gundy wants me to speak more and help the younger guys,” he said noting that he’s piped up on the field at times. “I just talked about what it takes to become a champion and be successful. I just said it takes discipline. You have to listen to the coaches. They’ve been where you’re at. They know what it takes to get there.”

Ogbah will be the cornerstone upon which a potential Big 12 title-caliber defense will be built. It sounds like he’s ready for it.

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