INDIANAPOLIS — Not every H-Back that is out there runs a legitimate 4.54 40-yard dash and a 35 1/2-inch vertical jump. However, Maryland’s Chig Okonkwo puts scouts on notice with his athleticism on Thursday evening. For a guy who was thought of as a potential fullback, Okonkwo showcased that he could be more than just an ordinary fullback.
“When it comes to athleticism, I’m the top of that top,” Okonkwo said. “I’m the guy. I’m the elite guy. They’re going to wake up when they see my numbers.”
Before the scouts knew what Okonkwo could do on the football field, Matt Canada may have known back in 2018. A freshman Chig Okonkwo was a freshman tight end. Sought after and ready to play right away, Maryland plugged Okonkwo into their lineup. However, Maryland did not just give Okonkwo receptions. They ran jet sweeps with the athletic freak.
In his freshman year, Okonkwo had three rushes. Two of those went for explosive plays of 20 or more yards. There was a certain versatility that he carried in a Matt Canada-led offense. Not everyone was going to allow Okonkwo’s athleticism to shine. Canada did, and as such, Okonkwo’s versatility was on full display.
The wing H-Backs in the Canada offense are a large component of it. Okonkwo can add dynamism into that role, and by doing so, Canada’s playbook would open up creative ways to use Okonkwo.