All McDouglas Osakue wanted was an opportunity to continue doing what he loves most after graduating from Sierra High in 2007.
Following a two-year stint at Gavilan College in Gilroy, his football career will be extended for at least two more after signing with NCAA Division III powerhouse John Carroll University of Ohio earlier this month.
“It helped me out to prepare for the next level, and it gave me a chance to show people what I can do,” Osakue said of his time at the junior college ranks. “I’m honored that a team like (John Carroll University) picked me.
“They feel like I can help the team, and I’ll do my best to make the coaches happy.”
Osakue is a 5-foot-10, 285-pound defensive tackle that earned all-Valley Oak League second-team recognition following his senior season at Sierra. He had 24 tackles, 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble.
Gavilan went 5-15 over the past two seasons, but Osakue made good on his shot to get noticed by four-year colleges. He didn’t put up big stats, finishing with six sacks in two years, but his quick reaction off the snap and versatility as a defensive lineman were what garnered enough attention for him to receive offers from four schools.
“I don’t get the stats, but that’s not my job,” he said.
His job is to fill up running lanes and let the linebackers get the glory, and he does it well.
The Blue Streaks of John Carroll University have had 20 winning seasons in the last 22 but are coming off a 5-5 campaign in which it suffered its first sub-.500 season (4-5) in the Ohio Athletic Conference since joining in 1989.
“They said they really needed me and that I’ll probably get to start right away, but I still have to earn it,” Osakue said.
The tradition of excellence helped draw him to the University Heights campus, but football wasn’t the sole reason for the well-spoken Osakue to go there.
“Football is one thing, but it’s all about school first,” he said. “That’s what they wanted to talk to me about first; it was school, school, school and school — then football. I chose that school for that reason.”
Osakue will double major in communications and economics, but he wouldn’t mind not joining the workforce right out of college.
“That’s what one of my dreams — to go pro. If I don’t make it I’ll have other career (opportunities) for myself,” he said. “I’ll play until I can’t play anymore. I have a love for the game. I’ll play for a lower-level (professional) league as long as I can just play football and continue to have fun with it.”
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