Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Getting to know a little bit more about Russell Okung

By Kip Earlywine
I've started watching the tape, and so far I'm on pace to have my amateur scouting report done by this weekend. However, I figured it was important to get some basic info out there about Russell Okung before I begin.

For those who haven't read it, there was a pretty interesting piece written in the TNT regarding Okung around the draft. Okung was raised by his mother, a single parent. This isn't that unusual, but what is tragic is that it sounds like he had a great, hard working dad, who wasn't around because he was murdered at the gas station he owned when Okung was only 2. Okung talks about how he had to become the "man of the house." I'd be lying if I said it wasn't touching, and you have to believe it must have been an incredible moment for Okung to be drafted and become a future millionaire.

Okung was only a 3 star recruit coming out of high school. He was recruited by big schools, including Oklahoma and LSU, but he wasn't considered a superstar recruit like say, Anthony Davis was. He ended up choosing Oklahoma State. At the time, he only weighed 250 lbs.

Whatever scouting Okung reveals later on, its worth noting that he was highly decorated in College, earning 1st team all-american honors in both 2008 and 2009. Last year, Okung was listed at #1 on the preseason offensive tackle power ranking at Rivals.com. All eyes were fixed on Okung since the beginning of last year, and Okung responded with a performance that was good enough in the minds of NFL front offices to make him a worthy top 10 pick.

As it turns out, Okung went bowling with Pete Carroll several weeks before the draft. Carroll ended up winning. At the time, Okung was not strongly linked to Seattle and according to our draft source, Okung was only 5th on Seattle's big board at #6, and wasn't expected to reach the pick anyway. I think its pretty cool that Carroll has so much fun connecting with people, even guys he probably didn't expect would ever be playing for him. As it turns out, he had a chance to connect with a guy that would later become his first draft pick in his return to the NFL.

Okung has been compared most often to D'Brickishaw Ferguson, probably because like Ferguson, Okung has ridiculously long and powerful arms. Ferguson is a solid compliment- he's one of the better young left tackles in the game. Its notable that Matt McGuire at walterfootball, who's evaluations I respect, compared Okung to Joe Thomas, the best young left tackle in football.

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