By Ricardo Mendez |Staff Writer|
Chino Hills alumnus Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was drafted in the seventh round by the Cleveland Browns in the 2015 National Football League (NFL) Draft.
In 2010, Ekpre-Olomu entered his senior season at Chino Hills High School as the number one corner back prospect in Southern California because of his speed, technique and versatility.
“He’s a kid you only get to coach once in a while. He breaks great on the football. He’s got good all-out speed,” said high school coach Derek Bub.
At Chino Hills High School, Ekpre-Olomu played defensive back and was named the 2010 California All-State Defensive first-feam, Sierra League most valuable player (MVP) and an All-Southern Section Defensive first-team.
He finished his high school career with the school record for interceptions.
Ekpre-Olomu received interest from many universities in the Pacific-12 (Pac-12) Conference, which is an athletic conference that operates in the Western states of the U.S.
These universities included the University of Utah, Stanford University and Arizona State University, but Ekpre-Olomu ultimately
he committed to the University of Oregon.
Ekpre-Olomu played three seasons as an
at Oregon Duck where he played a crucial role in the achievement of a 35-5 record.
As a Duck, Ekpre-Olomu was named three-time, first-team All-Pac-12 and first-team All-American.
As a three-year starter at Oregon, Ekpre-Olomu totaled nine interceptions, eight forced fumbles and 244 tackles.
Ekpre-Olomu was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, an award given to the country’s top collegiate defensive back.
After his third year as a Duck, Ekpre-Olomu was projected to be a late first round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft but decided to continue his stay in Oregon with high hopes of a national championship and to complete his degree.
In his senior season at Oregon, Ekpre-Olomu suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.
According to ESPN, Ekpre-Olomu was “projected to be a first or second round pick” but due to injuries he was picked late in the 2015 NFL Draft.
He later confirmed that he had also suffered a dislocated knee while
at he practiced for the Rose Bowl Game against Florida State University.
“Yeah, I think definitely teams were concerned and thinking that I wouldn’t be able to play or I wouldn’t be able to play at the level that I wanted to play,” said Ekpre-Olomu in an interview.
Due to his injury Ekpre-Olomu was not able to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine 2015 where drills like the 40-yard dash, vertical jumps and 20-yard shuttles are performed.
This resulted in no pro day Scouting Combine numbers to go on which hurt his ranking in the draft.
“We felt like we were getting the right kind of guy that we knew had talent. He suffered an unfortunate injury. We are confident he will get healthy,” said Cleveland Browns’ manager Ray Farmer.
Ekpre-Olomu will miss training camp and will most likely miss his rookie season.
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