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Monday, March 29, 2010

Keegan

OMG! Omigie promising

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Sometimes you just get a hunch about a young athlete. Something about the way he carries himself, the intelligence he displays in an interview, the physical gifts he possesses, how seriously he takes his sport.

Kansas University receiver Chris Omigie, who red-shirted in 2009 and has four years of eligibility remaining, qualifies.

He stands 6-foot-4 and said that after packing on 10 pounds of muscle he weighs 195 pounds. After his first spring practice Sunday under new coach Turner Gill, Omigie revealed a self-confidence that seemed real, yet not the least bit obnoxious.

“I think I bring size to the table, speed as a tall receiver, and you throw it up and it has to come down with me,” said Omigie, a native of Arlington, Texas. “If it’s not coming down with me, it’s not coming down with anybody.”

A quick look at his high school highlight tape on YouTube shows a physical player opening holes for running backs. Omigie said he always has taken pride in blocking and enjoys letting cornerbacks know he’s not going to get pushed around by them.

“If you hit them first, that’s going to make them second-think the next time they run up to you,” he said. “And if they do run back up to you, you just have to keep hitting them in the mouth until they realize you’re not one to be messed with on the football field.”

Nobody can say Mark Mangino left the cupboard bare, particularly at wide receiver. Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier are gone, but it still will take beating out proven receivers for Omigie to earn significant playing time.

Wideouts Johnathan Wilson and Bradley McDougald and slot receiver Daymond Patterson are the leading candidates to appear on the first team of Gill’s first depth chart. Omigie and Erick McGriff, also a 6-4 rising red-shirt freshman, bring more size to the position.

Omigie said he is grateful to Mangino for not burning his red-shirt year with minimal playing time.

“Against Iowa State, I just knew I was going to go in,” Omigie said. “It was pretty cold. Briscoe was freezing. Everybody had their big jackets on on the sideline. At first, we were winning, and then the game got kind of close. He looked at Briscoe, and Briscoe’s hands were red and numb, and he had them in a hand-warmer. He looked at me, and he was like, ‘Briscoe, I’m sorry, this game is too close, too much on the line. You have to suck it up and get back out there.’ I understood.”

Asked to name a receiver he resembles, Omigie didn’t grow shy.

“I want to say Randy Moss because I grew up trying to copy-cat everything he did,” Omigie said. “I would watch Viking games when he got traded. All through elementary school to high school I was always wanting the fade ball, all deep balls, because I was always fast and tall.”

During his red-shirt season, Briscoe was his receiving role model.

“I learned from him that you have to have a really short-term memory,” Omigie said. “If you drop a pass, you can’t be thinking, ‘Man, I dropped that pass.’ You have to let that go.”

Asked if he dropped any passes on the first day of spring practice, Omigie said, “I forgot already.”

Comments

Ryan Mullen 9 years, 6 months ago

I think he went into the hamburger buisness. Last I heard he owned a heart attack burger.

DocBean 9 years, 6 months ago

He's an 'unpaid' (we're paying him) assistant for OU. So don't look for the Jayhawks to upset the Sooners while Mangino's players are still around.

MitchumMan 9 years, 6 months ago

I am loving what I'm hearing so far about this kid. I am grateful that they never blew his RS for games that we probably would have lost anyways. This team is team on the offensive side of the ball but pretty thin on some key positions on defense. This season will be interesting for sure. Can't wait to see them in action though. April 24th baby!

KU1979 9 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the football stories . . . keep 'em coming!

jhokfan 9 years, 6 months ago

This is pure speculation but I think Mark will have bypass surgery and enroll in an anger management class before becoming an assistant with Bill Snyder. Eventually he will replace Snyder when he retires with the intent of punishing KU for what he believes was an unjustified dismissal.

Don’t know where he’ll end up but I believe he will be coaching D1 at some point if he so desires.

8808 9 years, 6 months ago

Pure speculation indeed. That will not happen because Mangino pilfered recuiting info from KSU offices on the way to Norman.

hawk316 9 years, 6 months ago

Tom, I hope your hunch regarding Omigie is correct. He sounds like he could be something special. Our receiving corps should be a strength next year.

Jonathan Briles 9 years, 6 months ago

It will be a huge strength. If you want experience you can look to Wilson. If you prefer extreme athletic ability you can throw to McDougald. If your looking over the top for a speedster then Patterson is your guy, and finally if you need a big target to go up and get it then Omigie will be glad to help out. Aside from them it goes deeper. McGriff is another huge guy, Beshears is another speedster, and Ingram while not too much on the field is an older experienced guy. Even with all of those names out there that is still not the whole crop. I am very excited about this season.

tical523 9 years, 6 months ago

Omigie is going to be a stud, and I cant wait to watch him make plays, but obviously we are not going to depend on our receivers as much as the last couple of years. I believe we will do a lot better on early downs next year because of our experienced line and big Toben. I can't wait for Opurum to punish tacklers behind all 5 returning lineman and then have a speed back or Omigie hit some home runs down the stretch. I know we are still going to be a predominately spread team, but if we get up or have success on first down we will run the ball. Really looking forward to next year, not predicting the Sears Trophy, but I think we may surprise people.

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