Michael Onyemaobi is a 3-star athlete from Chaparral in Temecula, California. He may be a current Cal commit, but that’s not reason to count him out just yet. For Nebraska fans, Donte Williams’ visit on Jan. 12 had to be promising. The offer that followed one day later was even better. For Onyemaobi, it’s now about deciding if he wants to stay committed to Cal or make the flip to Nebraska.
As National Signing Day gets closer, Hail Varsity spoke with Onyemaobi about Williams, his decision and planning an official visit to Nebraska.
On his visit from Williams:
“It kind of felt like it was already family. Donte and I have known each other since my sophomore year way back when he was at San Jose [State] so when he came in, it was good. We talked a lot more about the life aspect of things, football as well. Overall it was a great home visit.”
On what was different about Williams’ pitch from Nebraska to San Jose State and Arizona:
“Probably the family environment at Nebraska. You have an alumni base there. You have people who even after your football career is done with, you have people that will be there and will take care of you and people you’ll have relationships with. I mean, the fan base alone selling out every game… And going back to more important things when you get to life, how much they can jump into play. That’s probably the biggest thing is the difference between other institutions like San Jose and Arizona where he was at and Nebraska. Also, the level of competition in the Big Ten.”
“I mean, obviously people want to say Donte is the No. 1 recruiter in the nation but on the flipside of things, I know players that played for him at San Jose and players that played for him at Arizona and everyone says the same thing. He’s a great teacher. He knows how to coach. He knows how to simplify the game. He knows how to simplify the defensive backs position, whether at corner, safety or nickelback. He knows how to simplify and really teach you more so than other coaches that antagonize you. He knows what he’s doing which is huge. Also being a younger guy, he connects with his players and he’s able to come down on our level and talk to us because he knows what we’re going through. He knows what we’re dealing with on and off the field. That’s another great aspect about Coach Donte.”
On Nebraska switching to a 3-4 with defensive coordinator Bob Diaco:
“Whether they go to a 3-4 or stick in a 4-3, bottom line is I do play the perimeter cornerback spot. That’s my primary spot so regardless if they want to use another backer at the nickel spot or not – I mean, I can play the nickel spot as well – but that’s just another line of competition for who wants the depth spot in the secondary anyway. As far as playing scheme wise, I’ve been playing coverage cornerback and I also like making tackles. I like tackling on the perimeter. What they’re changing up doesn’t really play too much of a big role for me. I’m just competing for my spot wherever it is.”
On when he plans to visit:
“I may be coming out the weekend of the Jan. 27. That’s not decided yet but that’s what it’s looking like right now. If not, I’ll plan a midweek visit.”
On making his final decision:
“I think that’lll be the day I announce it if it does come down to me flipping. I mean, at the end of the day, I’m still committed to Cal.”
On talking with ATH Jeremiah Hawkins about flipping from Cal to Nebraska:
“I know Jeremiah was there this weekend and he enjoyed his trip. We’re going to be together for our Cal official this weekend so we’ll definitely chat about that a little bit.”
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.