Michael Onwenu is the Latest Cass Tech Star to Catch Ohio State's Attention

By Mike Rockstedt on August 15, 2014 at 2:45p
Detroit Cass Tech defensive tackle Michael Onwenu

via @_MXKEY


Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan, has been good to Ohio State over the past few recruiting classes. In the 2014 class, the Buckeyes signed top-50 defensive back Damon Webb. In the 2015 class, they have a verbal commitment from DL/OL Joshua Alabi. As for the 2016 class, they have strong interest in four-star lineman Michael Onwenu.

Onwenu, a 6-foot-2, 310-pound defensive tackle, has offers from programs all over the country, including Miami, Michigan, NC State and Ohio State. Onwenu credits his interest in Ohio State to the tradition and the coaching staff.

"Ohio State has always been a good defensive team," Onwenu said of why he likes Ohio State. "The linemen are the leaders of the defense for them and I like that. I also have a strong relationship with Coach [Kerry] Coombs and Coach [Larry] Johnson. I got to sit in on the meetings when I visited and the way they teach the game is amazing."

"Playing for a guy like coach Johnson and learning from him would be neat."

Both Ohio State and Michigan have offered Onwenu, and it seems like a classic interstate recruiting battle is brewing. He has visited both schools and came away impressed by both.

"Ohio State has some of the nicest facilities," Onwenu said of his Ohio State visit. "I love the indoor and outdoor practice fields, those were cool. At Michigan, I visited for the BBQ and it was amazing. I grew up rooting for Michigan and Michigan State, so the experience of being at Michigan was great."

Onewu's teammates at Cass Tech, Joshua Alabi (Ohio State) and Mike Weber (Michigan), are actively recruiting him to their prospective schools. They have been talking to him about the potential of them playing together and continuing pipelines to Michigan and Ohio State.

There is one thing Michigan lacks, and that is ace recruiter Damon Webb. "Me and Damon Webb are good friends," Onwenu said of their relationship. "He is telling me to never be satisfied and always stay hungry. He told me that if I went to go to a school that is dedicated to me, I should come to Ohio State."

Onwenu has named Ohio State his leader, even after a visit to Michigan and an offer at the BBQ event. That's good news for the Buckeyes, since the Wolverines could be the biggest threat for his commitment and BBQ at the Big House is Michigan's biggest recruiting event of the year.

With players like Alabi and Webb making the transition from to Cass Tech to Ohio State, it should be easier for Onwenu if he decides to commit to OSU. He had a message for Buckeye Nation as well: "Who really knows what the future holds, but I could be a Buckeye! Go Bucks!"

Cass Tech is another pipeline school Urban Meyer is trying to tap into. Like I mentioned in a previous piece about Urban Meyer and St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida, OSU's recruiting connections make it possible to challenge virtually any program for a local pipeline school. If Onwenu ends up in Columbus, future Cass Tech players could face a toss-up decision on whether to be a Buckeye or Wolverine.


Comments Show All Comments

Shangheyed's picture

The foot is on the other hand now!

+17 HS
Oldschoolbuck's picture

Lol! Sounds like you're quoting that master of rhetoric and elocution, Brady the Hoke!

+1 HS
BuckeyeinSavannah's picture

I believe in our coaches, but he doesn't look that special to me. Maybe I'm just not seeing it.

-3 HS
QBYBuckeye's picture

Why did we see exclusively offensive highlights if he is being recruited as a defensive tackle?  He looked slow off the ball to me, but what do I know?

New York Buckeye

+2 HS
theopulas's picture

that was his 10th grade footage.....with 2 years of work and then 2 years under Coach Mike...by the time he is a ju. in college he could be a beast....


+2 HS
IGotAWoody's picture

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” ~Carl Rogers

+6 HS
Myc24's picture

Maybe the greatest article ever written on a sports blog relating to college athletics. 

"Because I couldn't go for three!"  - Wayne Woodrow Hayes

+1 HS
UrbzRenewal's picture

I don't think he was being an asshole. He can be a great player and not jump out at you on film as looking "special". It's possible to be objective and say that a player might need to improve without being an asshole.

+1 HS
jaxbuckeye's picture

"...he doesn't look that special to me." is pretty much a universal bitch slap.  How much more insulting can you get to a football player on a football-related website?

+1 HS
Rob Reese's picture

Michigan just can't stop the Cass Tech hemorrhaging 

The Ohio State University class of 2009
Disciplina in civitatem
+18 HS
SoCalBuck26's picture

Lol.  What movie is this from?

+1 HS
GoBucks713's picture

Fanboys. If you don't own it, you should.

-The Aristocrats!

+2 HS
Rob Reese's picture

Fanboys. If you don't own it, you should.

 I concur.  Or at the very least, watch it online somewhere.  Great way to nerd out for an hour and a half.

The Ohio State University class of 2009
Disciplina in civitatem
Soggy_McMuffin's picture

Love Fanboys!


THE's picture

I prefer:

Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that's a straw, you see? Watch it. Now, my straw reaches acroooooooss the room and starts to drink your milkshake. I... drink... your... milkshake!

I love that Urban has engaged in this personal little matter of depleting what tiny pipelines they had. I know every great Michigan player/coach ever was from Ohio...but I just love this move by our staff of going after Cass Tech hard. 

[[]] []-[] [] [[]]

+7 HS
BeijingBucks's picture

i will always up vote a 2 gun salute

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

TUNBUCK89's picture

The Rock is rolling again ! Very nice addition to 11W i must say.

+1 HS
Mike Rockstedt's picture

Thank you very much, I appreciate it a lot!

Hovenaut's picture

This whole concept of recruiting players from a neighboring state is really catching on.

Big smile northern neighbors, big smile.

+5 HS
UFest57's picture

this movie was/is too damn long

-3 HS
DannyBeane's picture

This movie was perfect. I love the Daniel Plainview character. He's so quotable and nasty.

+1 HS
bbb's picture

you have the patience of a pre-pubescent and your opinion is bad. this is easily one of the films of its decade

-2 HS
Tater_Schroeder's picture

Of course Ohio State shows him football facilities and Michigan has a BBQ.


+7 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Bet the poor young man also had grimy, BBQ-stained hand prints all over his shirt from Head Coach Fat Foke, too...

Talk about not having impressive facilities, when a prospective player comes away talking about an event and not the training facilities.  I would have to say we are in the lead for him if he is more concerned about his play, rather than what he eats.

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

-1 HS
MauricXe's picture

ha it's no surprise hoke wants his visit to be centered around food

if any of those kids can out eat hoke they get an offer on the spot

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

if any of those kids can out eat hoke

You know that's NEVER going to happen...



BigKat45's picture

And we're sure this is class of 2016? Not 2006? Or 1996? Cause...kid looks 30.

"Well-prepared players make plays. I have yet to be in a game where the most prepared team didn't win.” - Urban

gumtape's picture

High and tight boo boo

+4 HS
NW Buckeye's picture

Highlights were all OT work.  Is there a DT highlight film as well? 

Buckabroad's picture

This was a statement that had to be made at that point in the game.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

+5 HS
buckeyedude's picture

When Marcus did this, I know outwardly Urban was pissed, but inside I know he was thinking, "yeah, I wish I could do that! Good job Marcus"



+1 HS
PittBuckeye's picture

Either way Hoke having to spend more time worrying about guys he wouldn't have had to in the past is nothing but good. Whether he comes here or not Cass Tech isn't the slam dunk it has been in years past.

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

I agree with this comment 100% Pitt. I love(d) Woody Hayes, but I never understood why he just never challenged TTUN with some of the players in their backyard. I know they don't have anywhere near the amount of talent Ohio does, but still, they do have some good players and it's great that Urban is going after them. I truly think that us taking players like Damon Webb, who in year's past would have been a slam dunk for TTUN, is really hurting their program.



Phillips.449's picture

and BBQ at the Big House is Michigan's biggest recruiting event of the year.

Why am I not surprised?

+1 HS
Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I love Urbz!!!  A great offense helps the defense  - so to stop Flounder from continuously making raids in Ohio, Urban launches an all out assault up north right smack dab in the middle of their heart, soul, and recruit pipeline!  Now THAT is how you do it!!! 

It appears that Cass Tech pipeline to TTUN has a few leaks in it and the holes may be getting bigger!  Flounder better up his game or throw way more BBQs!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

+1 HS
toad1204's picture

This is the kind of stuff that perpetuates the rivalry. 

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+9 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

Seriously, how is a BBQ their biggest recruiting event?  With Friday Night Lights, you have a football oriented event that caps off the summer.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good BBQ, but these kids aren't judging Pitmasters, they are trying to figure out where to spend the next 3-5 years playing football.  

Pain don't hurt-Dalton

+5 HS
PittBuckeye's picture

Seriously, how is a BBQ their biggest recruiting event?

Umm because Hoke couldn't get the board to approve a baby eating contest? 

Poison nuts's picture

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+4 HS
JohnnyKozmo's picture

Good Point, but that was Mike Tyson who likes eating babies

Pain don't hurt-Dalton

EvanstonBuckeye's picture

Gonna play Devil's Advocate here; it's probably because it's not like every other camp that prospects attend. When recruits often exit with comments that include the word "family" and considering how many family BBQ's we all attend, it's not such a stretch.

That said, it's a gamble as, increasingly, recruits are looking at visits as business trips (meaning facilities, meetings, etc.) and this plays up the "homey" aspect. I don't necessarily want us to do it, but I see why it works.

johnblairgobucks's picture

Winning works better than a BBQ.  

Been a decade and 3 head coaches, since Michigan last won the Big 10

Sure Hoke is drawing kids attention with his cookout/summer relaxation event, but if his 4-5 losses per season continue, the BBQ will become a nice event to attend, and a easy to forget once out of Ann Arbor city limits.

+1 HS
Buckloving's picture

I've never seen a lineman who did'nt like a good BBQ lol


+2 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

That is a bonifide Man-Child 

michbornbuckeye's picture

Me and my dad are going to that game. I WILL be wearing buckeye gear. I'll leave coach Johnson and company do the talking and recruiting but it will be nice to see future buckeyes playing and see my former high school in action before saturdays game.

I have two favorite college teams
1. The Ohio State
2. And anyone that's playing Michigan

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

+1 UV for rocking Buckeye gear in Michigan.



michbornbuckeye's picture

If I could do it during the Cooper years, with tressel and now urban, I'm living on easy street

I have two favorite college teams
1. The Ohio State
2. And anyone that's playing Michigan

+1 HS
HandsOfSweed's picture

Wonder what Michigan BBQ tastes like? I bet they inject their pork shoulders with hot dog water to give it that pure Michigan flavor.

+1 HS
Mortc15's picture

It's about time Ohio State took some players on a regular basis from another state because the rest of the conference would struggle to have teams if it weren't for Ohio high school football, with as many Ohioans as they all seem to have. GoBucks! 


+1 HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture

News Flash: Now serving the nations finest BBQ at the OSU cafeteria. Tastes so good you wanna slap yourself.

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

hit_the_couch's picture

"Ohio State has always been a good defensive team," 

Whew [wipes brow], we are in the clear; he didn't watch the last three Buckeye defenses...or maybe he just focused on the elite d-line.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

Toilrt Paper's picture

Of course U of M fans say they didn't really want Onwenu.

Vinsaniti's picture

Gotta love Urb & Co bringing another pipeline school especially in enemy territory.