Off the record with Chris Okoye

Okoye stands an imposing six feet six inches and tips the scales at 380 pounds, making him Ferris State’s largest player.
Okoye stands an imposing six feet six inches and tips the scales at 380 pounds, making him Ferris State’s largest player. Michael A. Corn, Photographer
At 6’6” and weighing in at 380 lbs, true-freshman defensive lineman, Chris Okoye is the biggest player featured on Ferris State’s football roster. Looking towards having an impactful college career, Okoye sheds light on what goes through this big man’s mind.

Torch: First off, how did you discover football growing up?
CO: All of my older cousins were playing it.

Torch: At what point did you realize that this was the sport for you?
CO: Junior year, when lacrosse didn’t go as planned.

Torch: (laughs) So you played lacrosse? You had to be the biggest player on that field right? Lay any monster hits?
CO: Oh yeah, (laughs) gave a couple kids concussions, I may play some club at Ferris.

Torch: Oh sweet Jesus, those club guys better watch out. So now that you were focused solely on football, what did you try to convey to college scouts in high school?
CO: That I’m a guy they could use to help better their program as a whole, that not only am I a good athlete, but I’m a good person.

Torch: When you got that call from Tony Annese, what ran through your head as you decided to sign with Ferris?
CO: That I was joining a great up and coming team with a tremendous coaching staff that was going to continue to help turn the program around and make it great.

Torch: Now, let’s get this out of the way, you are kind of a big dude. You stick out like a sore thumb from the roster as the overall biggest player on the team. What were the reactions from your new teammates when they first shook your hand?
CO: (laughs) They were all in shock, they didn’t believe I was fresh out of school and then they just began to explain to me the massive expectations they have for me.

Torch: How much of a balance do you think there has to be when it comes to size vs talent to be a good ball player? My example would be someone like Yao Ming who some thought was only effective because of his size.
CO: I know some fairly large guys who aren’t good at sports, and I know some who are. I mean size is a huge help but it’s not everything. It’s just another tool in the shed.

Torch: Ok, let’s lighten up the conversation a bit, what you have for breakfast this morning?
CO: Orange juice, steak and a ham and cheese omelet with hash browns.

Torch: Biscuits and gravy with black coffee on this side. Now, I carry around a spare tire myself and I light up when I see a Chinese buffet. What’s your go to food joint when the hunger is real?
CO: Definitely Olive Garden. Gotta carb hard.

Torch: what’s the one thing that you wouldn’t want Coach Annese to know about you?
CO: That Grease is one of my favorite movies and that I sing along to every song in it.

Torch: Should they count your flat top in your roster height?
CO: I wish (laughs), they took my height in like June when the flow wasn’t nearly as nice

Torch: What’s been the toughest part for you in college as a freshman apart from football?
CO: Not smelling when hurrying to class from football. It’s often very tempting to skip showering when you have a 2 o’clock class and practice ends at 1:45.

Torch: Last question, how do you see your bulldog career unfolding?
CO: Hopefully a couple conference & national titles.