Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall identified 6’2”, 190-pound Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah as an ideal SAM linebacker target last spring, offering a scholarship on March 26.
“Coach Mendenhall and Coach (Kelly) Poppinga talked to me about playing SAM linebacker, dropping off into coverage and moving me around some,” said the Bethel High School (Hampton, VA) senior, who as of October 23 is also a Virginia commitment.
Bethel’s captain may not have prototypical size when you think of traditional linebacker size. However, the SAM spot in Mendenhall’s 3-4 defensive scheme is a unique one. Cavalier junior Malcolm Cook had difficulty sticking at either linebacker or safety in prior seasons but fit perfectly as Mendenhall’s SAM, which requires versatility, range, and speed.
Once Cook was declared out for the season with an undisclosed medical condition, true freshman Jordan Mack, who was originally recruited as a safety, stepped forth to claim the starting spot and has adapted well. Owusu-Koramoah has similar traits to both players, showing terrific closing speed, range, coverage ability, and tackling ability. The latter trait caught the immediate attention of several Sabre posters once they viewed his video, which is embedded below.
“I thank God for my strengths,” Owusu-Koramoah said when asked about his sure-tackling. “I model my tackling off of the Seattle Seahawks players. I wrap and roll.”
Virginia was the fourth school to offer a scholarship to Owusu-Koramoah. Charlotte, Old Dominion, and Appalachian State came through before the Hoos, with all four offers coming in March. Owusu-Koramoah claimed 19 scholarship offers in total — NC State, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Washington State joined UVA as the BCS schools that offered — before making his commitment to the Hoos while in Charlottesville on an official visit.
“Heading into Charlottesville I had no intent of committing,” Owusu-Koramoah said. “It was a matter of getting to know the school, the people, and the coaches better. I wanted to evaluate each school. From the time I got there, with all the love the coaches were showing me, I fell in love with it.”
Owusu-Koramoah’s official visit itinerary included spending time with Mendenhall and...
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