Boise High senior John Ojukwu planned to hold off until the weekend to make up his mind. But on the Braves’ traditional walk to Dona Larsen Park on Thursday, he realized he didn’t need to wait.
The 6-6, 285-pound left tackle dialed Boise State offensive line coach Scott Huff and offered his verbal commitment to the Broncos, picking Boise State over offers from Hawaii and Portland State.
“Everything just felt right,” said Ojukwu, who will graduate in January to enroll early at Boise State and participate in spring practices. “I want to be a part of the team.”
Ojukwu ended his junior year as an unknown to college recruiters. He stood 200 pounds and didn’t even garner an honorable mention nod in the 5A Southern Idaho Conference.
But after watching former teammate Valentino Daltoso earn Division I offers — Daltoso later walked on at Oregon — he spent the offseason on a 7,000-calorie-a-day diet and in the weight room, adding 85 pounds before his senior year.
“I kind of thought I was already big,” Ojukwu joked. “But then I watched some film on O-linemen from colleges. My teammate, Valentino Daltoso, he was getting offers from big schools. So I decided it was time to get to work.
“At first, I was trying to gain 50 pounds. Once I got to 50 in a couple months, I figured I’d put on more. I just kept eating and working out.”
Ojukwu first met with Boise State when assistant head coach Steve Caldwell visited the Braves at the end of last school year. Ojukwu then made a name for himself on the summer camp circuit, earning a Boise State offer at its June camp. He also traveled with the Daltoso family to Eugene, Ore., and caught a bus by himself to work out for Oregon State and Portland State.
Ojukwu, rated a three-star prospect by 24/7 Sports, is the second Treasure Valley offensive lineman to commit to an FBS program this year. Eagle’s Alec Kuzmack committed to Washington State in July, and four other 5A SIC offensive linemen own Division I scholarship offers.