With the Texas Longhorns donning pads on Wednesday for the first time this fall, the 3-on-3 inside drill was featured in practice and freshman offensive lineman Denzel Okafor flashed in a big way while going against a fellow freshman, defensive tackle Gerald Wilbon:
The stories about Okafor are true. His freakishness overshadows solid reps by Southall and (probably) Fitzgerald. pic.twitter.com/k7Id8yNHk8— Ryan Bridges (@RyanBridgesCFB) August 11, 2016
Wilbon tried to slant across Okafor’s face, but the Lewisville product was able to use the defensive tackle’s momentum against him by firing out powerfully from his lower body.
The result, as is immediately obvious, was a devastating pancake block that represented perhaps the most dominant play by any offensive player in the 1:14-second clip released by the school.
Since senior Kent Perkins is now working at right guard, thereby shifting sophomore Patrick Vahe over to the left guard spot for which Okafor was supposed to compete, the earliest path to playing time for the 6’3, 302-pounder may be as the back up at right tackle, where junior Tristan Nickelson looks like the starter.
Okafor doesn’t have ideal height to play there, but neither did former star Trey Hopkins, the closest analog to Okafor in recent Texas history.
In addition to a high level of fitness for an offensive lineman, Okafor also has incredible length and improved considerably as a senior.
"If you look at Denzel and just see how much he has developed at Lewisville High School, he’s got unbelievable talent," Texas head coach Strong said on National Signing Day.
And based on his rep against Wilbon, Okafor is quickly translating that ability to the field, which could position him to receive playing time as a freshman.