Sept. 24, 2015
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It was the first week of class and the Seamans Center on the University of Iowa campus seemed overwhelming to first-year student Michael Ojemudia.
Ojemudia, who is exploring a major in mechanical engineering, knew exactly where to turn for guidance. It was the same place he turns when he has a football-related question.
“I got some tips from Mabin and Dez, so they helped me get my schedule right,” Ojemudia said.
“They are good players to look up to, they are having good years,” Ojemudia said. “I am picking up a lot of things from them; I’m trying to be as good as them.”
Ojemudia is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound freshman defensive back from Farmington Hills, Michigan. His older brother, Mario, has 11 tackles for the Michigan Wolverines, but Michael felt more at home in Iowa City.
“When I visited here, I loved it. This is my new home,” Ojemudia said. “(Mario) is doing well at Michigan, but Iowa is where I’m at. This is where I’m supposed to be.”
The Hawkeyes are off to an undefeated start after three games and Ojemudia is still looking for his first game action. UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said the staff has entertained the idea of working him in on special teams.
“I liked the coaching staff first of all, then I liked all the new facilities. The players showed me around and showed me the culture of this place. I talked to (strength and conditioning) coach (Chris) Doyle and when I found out the culture and tradition of this place, I really started liking it.”
UI freshman cornerback
“We’re strongly considering that he will play this year,” Ferentz said. “He works hard and has a great attitude. He has a chance to be a good football player, fits in well, and has a good feel for things.”
Ojemudia’s attitude hasn’t changed since the end of January when as a high school recruit he tweeted, “I chose Iowa because it felt like home. I love the staff, the campus, and all the new facilities.”
On Tuesday, he reiterated those feelings after practice on the Kenyon Outdoor Football Practice Facility.
“I liked the coaching staff first of all, then I liked all the new facilities,” Ojemudia said. “The players showed me around and showed me the culture of this place. I talked to (strength and conditioning) coach (Chris) Doyle and when I found out the culture and tradition of this place, I really started liking it.”
The cornerback position for the Hawkeyes is manned by King and senior Sean Draper on the right and Mabin and junior Maurice Fleming on the left. Ojemudia provides depth and he is on board with the coaching staff’s decision to have him either play now or develop in practice throughout the 2015 season.
“Every week I’m ready. I want to help the team any way I can, that’s why I’m here,” Ojemudia said.
Ojemudia says he is learning a lot by watching the seasoned defensive backs that are ahead of him on the depth chart. King is fifth on the team with 15 tackles and he has all three of Iowa’s interceptions. Mabin is sixth among Hawkeyes with 13 tackles and tied for first with two pass breakups.
“When I got here I didn’t even know how to back pedal,” Ojemudia said. “They taught me how to be tough and work hard every play.”
During Ojemudia’s four years at Harrison High School, the Hawks compiled a record of 36-11 with three 10-win seasons. A captain as a senior, Ojemudia led the team with 105 tackles with three interceptions.