As you take in all of the week’s action in Indy, you’ll see plenty of familiar faces. Top prospects from college football powerhouses like Alabama, LSU, and Michigan will be everywhere and getting most of the attention. But one name flying under the radar is North Carolina-Charlotte defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi. And he wears his anonymity like a badge of pride.
Ogunjobi isn’t just the only UNCC 49er at this year’s premier scouting event, he’s the first alumnus to ever be invited. UNCC football has only been around for four years, and he was part of their inaugural 2012 recruiting class. “Just being here (in Indy) is really humbling,” Ogunjobi said. “I’m part of something bigger than myself. I’m here representing everybody in Charlotte, and they’re all rooting for me.”
During his prep for the pros, the 22-year-old has been asked over and over about why he chose to attend a brand new football program. He has the size, strength, and athleticism that coaches crave in their D-lineman, surely other schools would have come calling. But when Ogunjobi looked at UNCC, he saw himself. Both carried a chip on their shoulders and were out to prove that they belonged.
“I didn’t take up football until my sophomore year of high school, and at that point, I was 350 pounds and couldn’t even get into a football stance,” Ogunjobi explained. “I’m obviously way different now, but that took a lot of hard work. Choosing Charlotte meant I could prove that it’s not where you start, but where you finish. It was a blessing being there and helping it grow.”
The jump from Conference USA college ball to the pros will be steep, but Ogunjobi’s putting in the work.