DESOTO, Texas -- With a long wingspan and a high motor, Rowlett (Texas) defensive end Charles Omenihu is a run-stuffing force at the high school level, but came out to the Dallas Nike Football Training Camp at Eagle Stadium recently for a chance to show off his pass-rushing moves.
With two wins over Texas A&M commit Trevor Elbert (starting at the :10 mark), the top tackle in attendance, and another strong rep featured below, Omenihu showed that he has the type of upside rushing the passer that is only suggested at times by his high school film.
The 6'5, 217-pounder has been committed to Texas since February and spoke with SB Nation Recruiting before the event.
The staff has told Omenihu that they plan to use him at the weakside defensive end position as a versatile pass rusher capable of dropping into coverage, rushing from a stand-up position, and around the defensive line, with the comparison made to rising senior defensive end Cedric Reed, who played at an All-American level at times last season.
So this spring Omenihu is working on developing the long-arm move that Reed and Alex Okafor have used to great effect for the Longhorns the last several seasons. Although the lean defensive end doesn't have the widest shoulders for a prospect at his position, he does have good length for his size, a prerequisite for that particular move.
Former Texas defensive end Alex Okafor's long-arm move in action against Oklahoma -- Matthews Emmons (USA TODAY Sports)
And, as is apparent from the clip above, Omenihu is also working on using his hands more, always a particular point of emphasis for the NFTC coaching staff, which likes to use the mantra, "Use your hands or we'll cut them off."
So far, there aren't any known amputations as a result of NFTC appearances, but the point is clear -- there are few things more important for a defensive lineman than using his hands.
Going back to Reed, though -- he was a player Omenihu spoke with while visiting for a recent Texas practice, as Reed came to Texas as a gangly, raw prospect out of Cleveland, Texas. Listed at 240 coming out of high school, the 2013 AP All-Big 12 selection carried more mass than the Rowlett product does at this time, but Omenihu has some pretty lofty goals in terms of weight gain. He said that he wants to check in at 230 or 235 pounds by the time his senior season starts, which would put him on track to approximate the size of Reed coming out of high school.
The rangy Omenihu poses at the Dallas NFTC -- Student Sports
As with Reed, who now checks in at around 270 pounds, the developmental process in the weight room will certainly bleed into Omenihu's time at Texas, where a redshirt season may be ideal to make the required strength gains to hold up against the run in college.
The new coaching staff and defensive schemes were major draws for Omenihu when he pledged to the Longhorns. In particular, he called defensive line coach Chris Rumph "very electric and exciting" when talking about the former Alabama coach whom Omenihu believes can help mold him into a productive player.
There's also been a lot of talk about the demands placed on players by new head coach Charlie Strong. Asked if those are intimidating, Omenihu was quick to say that they are not intimidating because he has the same expectations for himself.
On the recruiting trail, the new staff is getting an assist from Omenihu. He has been active on social media, helping to recruit recent safety/outside linebacker commit DeShon Elliott, who chose Texas over Texas A&M and others. Targets currently on Omenihu's radar include five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson, four-star running back/athlete Chris Warren and four-star defensive back Kris Boyd.
Omenihu wasn't willing to share any details about the nature of the conversations between him and Jefferson, but if the Mesquite (Texas) Poteet product ends up somewhere else, like former favorite Texas A&M, it won't be for a lack of effort from the rangy defensive end.