Emmanuel Okoye traveled from London to begin his whirlwind tour of American colleges. Tennessee Football was the first to host the four-star prospect for an official visit.
The prospect from Nigeria is also visiting Vanderbilt, Colorado, Southern California and Texas Tech. He plans to enroll in the college he chooses over the summer. He ranks as the No. 431 prospect nationally and the No. 1 prospect from England.
“Tennessee was a really great experience,” Okoye told Off The Hook. “It was a great one to be there first. The fans, even though the stadium was half-full, the fans were really supportive. It was a great experience being in such a big stadium, such a great environment. Great coaching staff. I had a great time there.”
Although Okoye is listed as an EDGE rusher, the Vols are recruiting him for the offensive side of the ball. At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Tennessee wants to utilize Okoye as a tight end.
He spent a lot of time over the weekend getting to know Tennessee tight end coach Alec Abeln.
“He’s a great coach,” Okoye said. “He was telling me how useful I could be. How he could develop me into the best player I can be and the next-level type of player. He sees my potential and what I could become on the offensive side of the ball. I really appreciate him for that.”
Listed as the No. 42 EDGE in his class, Okoye considers himself more of an athlete. Colorado and Tennessee are both pursuing him as a tight end.
“I can make an impact on both sides of the ball,” he said.
With Tennessee’s tight end depth in question, especially next year as Jacob Warren and transfer McCallan Castles graduating, Okoye could fill a big role for the Vols.
“You have to earn (playing time),” Okoye said. “I’m new to the game, I haven’t been in the game for way too long. There’s some kind of development I have to go through to be the type of player that can function in such a great offense.”
During his visit, Okoye took notice of the Vols’ success on the offensive end. He came away impressed with the high-powered offense as well as Tennessee’s staff.
Okoye joined the NFL Academy in September before playing his first American football game in October. He was found at a camp in Nigeria, and his skillset has quickly made him an elite prospect.
“The academy is a great place,” Okoye said. “Great program for kid in Europe and the U.K. to get exposure. The team is like a brotherhood. It’s a great place for a young person to prepare for the next level.”
Okoye doesn’t know where he will go after his official visits, but he expects to have a decision made a couple of weeks after his visit. He wants to look back at his trip as a whole and make sure the school he chooses checks all his boxes.