December 8, 2009

Ndulue Sees Future Physical Change

They say that at college football’s great programs, you don’t rebuild, you reload but following Chuka Ndulue’s official visit to Norman he says the gap between his recruiting class and the current Sooners is nothing but building. The type of building that falls on the shoulders of strength and conditioning coach Jerry Schmidt rather than Bob Stoops.

“The thing that stood out, it was just how the players are so cool, they were just like us except older and bigger,” Ndulue said. “I’ve heard about Schmitty’s workouts. People were asking if I’m nervous but I’m ready to go.

“If it kills me in the process, that’s fine. I won’t quit, every thing that is difficult makes you better.”

While he couldn’t help but notice the obvious size differences of the current Sooners he also took it to heart how easy it was to relate to both his classmates as well as the guys already on the team.

“We went to one of the players houses and played games and everybody was taking turns and playing games,” he recalled. “Jarrett Brown was my host, he was a cool guy, he was real down to earth. He is a redshirt-freshman so I think he related more to me.

“Me, Aaron (Colvin), Jarrett (Lake), and Rashod (Favors); the four of us were hanging out the whole time. With the two linebackers, corner, and Trey (Franks) and James (Haynes) we had some defense going. But everybody hung out together.

“It didn’t take long at all, everything just clicked as soon as we got together, and some of us knew each other before and got to see our true sides and got to see one another.”

The group may be coming together as a defensive unit, much like the current group of Sooner veterans and according to Ndulue the current group of Sooner defenders gives the future Sooners something to aspire to.

And for Ndulue, the goal is to follow in the foot steps of another under appreciated Dallas-area defensive end.

“Watching the defense just do work out there and you just think ‘wow, I can’t wait to be part of that defense’,” he explained. “I just walked over to the defensive ends in warm-ups and started watching them, trying to see their moves, their techniques.

Jeremy Beal is just really good at a lot of things, speed rush, bull rush, he just knows how to use his body and understands the game so well. They move him around at middle linebacker, standing him up, dropping back in coverage.”

Ndulue says the chance to stand up and be used in roles aside from just chasing the quarterback is not something that would be totally foreign to him.

“We did that this year in some packages and playing some three-technique and sometimes I’d cover the running back in the flats, I like all of that,” he said.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound defensive end says that on the visit he spoke frequently with the current Sooner players about the coaches and the off-season workouts. He appreciated the group being so open and honest with him and though they made it clear there is nothing taken for granted in Norman he admits that’s just the way he’d likes it.

“I think it gets you ready for everything, working with Schmity(strength and conditioning coach Jerry Schmidt) is going to be insane. And the defensive ends coach (Chris) Wilson will tell you the truth. There are days when you won’t like the coaches, it’s human nature,” he said, summarizing the thoughts of those he spoke with. “They are trying to help you but we think we are always right so we get worn out sometimes. But it means more to us that they work hard for us to win.”

At the end of the day though there was nothing Oklahoma’s lone defensive end commitment enjoyed more than his first taste of Bedlam.

“That was insane, that was a crazy game. The fans were loud the fans were extra loud that was the main part of the whole game. They were all in their seats going crazy, saying chants and everything. It was just perfect.”

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