'Best fit for me': Central Michigan lands Iowa State graduate transfer OL Oge Udeogu
When Oge Udeogu opened up his recruitment as a graduate transfer on Feb. 7, he planned to make a decision near the end of April.
But his choice came much earlier than expected after the Iowa State offensive lineman took an official visit at Central Michigan. He even canceled trips to Colorado State and FIU due to what coach Jim McElwain was able to offer.
Udeogu officially transferred to the Chippewas on April 15, and he’s penciled in to aid the offensive line room which has struggled in recent seasons.
"It was a great coaching staff and the best fit for me," Udeogu said. "It was a great situation all around for me."
The Nigerian offensive lineman, who has an interesting college football journey, checked out CMU from April 8-9. He was highly impressed – leading to a quick commit and sign process.
Udeogu is immediately eligible, which ensures the sixth-year player will get on the field in the 2019 season. He will arrive to the program this summer to get acclimated with teammates and coaches, workout and learn the playbook in preparation for the Aug. 29 season opener against Albany.
"I’m excited to finally be on the field," Udeogu said. "I love football and haven’t been able to really be out there since junior college. This season will be special to me because I’ll finally be able to go out there after all the adversity I’ve had to face so far in my career."
As a 6-foot-3, 310-pound lineman, Udeogu spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons at City College of San Francisco (JUCO). He was a two-year starter, winning back-to-back conference and Northern California championships. The team finished 12-1 in Udeogu’s final campaign, and the prospect went on to pick Iowa State over Houston, Louisville, Illinois and others.
His journey was far from over.
When Udeogu arrived Ames to play for the Cyclones under coach Matt Campbell, he took a redshirt for his first year to adapt to the Division I lifestyle. In 2017, Udeogu was slated as a starter at guard – until he sustained an injury to his triceps at the elbow just two weeks before the season opener against Northern Iowa.
Udeogu was unable to get on the field in 2017, and he missed the 2018 season due to never being able to fully recover. Without any on-field playing time in college other than a two-year stint at an NJCAA school, he opened up his recruitment as a graduate transfer.
Now, Udeogu is headed to Mount Pleasant to play in the Mid-American Conference.
"It's awesome that they are giving me another shot at this. A lot of people don't get this opportunity," he added. "Coach Mac has been to the NFL and everywhere, so it's something else when these coaches acknowledge my skill and want to bring me in."
While McElwain, defensive end Sean Adesanya and quarterback Quinten Dormady all played pivotal roles in landing the prized piece of the puzzle, it was offensive line coach Mike Cummings that made the choice a no-brainer for Udeogu.
"Coach (Cummings) was big," Udeogu said. "He is a great coach and great person. It’s all about the people and he is someone I’m excited to get coached up by and play for."