BEVO BEAT Football

Meet the new Longhorns: Joseph Ossai blossomed into the state’s top pass rusher

Posted February 7th, 2018

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Joseph Ossai, defensive end, Conroe Oak Ridge

FYI: 6-4/220; 4 stars; No. 186-ranked player in 2018 class

Fabulous 55 ranking: 16

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Scouting report: Ossai was the premier pass rusher in Texas during the 2018 cycle. He’s not the same type of defensive end like fellow commitments Michael Williams and Daniel Carson. Ossai is an edge rusher who excels at coming off the edge and attacking the quarterback or ball carrier. That’s not to say Ossai shies away from setting the edge against the run.

Ossai is still improving. The Nigeria native didn’t watch his football game until he was 10 years old. He didn’t play defensive end until his sophomore season and didn’t become a dominant force until his junior season. The athleticism and size were always apparent, but his stock grew as he became a refined defensive end.

“He showed potential in the spring of his sophomore year and into fall practice, but when you’re only practicing against other teammates it is hard to know how it’ll translate at the varsity level,” said Oak Ridge head coach Dereck Rush. “He held his own against bigger offensive linemen in our first scrimmage against Cy Ridge. Around the middle of his junior season, we knew he had the ability and he kept improving.”

A guy who can get to the quarterback is always in need. Texas needs more dynamic pass rushers to truly run defensive coordinator Todd Orlando’s scheme. Orlando wants his team to attack with speed and aggression. Those two adjectives best describe Ossai. The 4-star plays fast and likes to attack. It’ll be tough to earn starting snaps as a true freshman, but it’s likely Ossai finds his way onto the field in certain packages during 2018. He doesn’t expect to redshirt.

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