By Chadd Cripe
Defensive end Sam Ukwuachu of Pearland, Texas, has given the Boise State football team an oral commitment for 2011, he said Thursday.
Ukwuachu is the second known commitment for 2011. The other is quarterback Jimmy Laughrea of Rocklin (Calif.) High.
Ukwuachu (6-foot-5, 203 pounds) was the co-defensive MVP in his district. He had more than a dozen scholarship offers, including Baylor, SMU, Northwestern, Illinois, Colorado, Virginia, Louisville, Houston, Utah State, Kansas and North Texas, he said.
"He's a guy with a lot of potential," Pearland High coach Tony Heath said. "... He has a great work ethic. He's very quick — very fast off the edge. He plays with really good technique."
Boise State linebackers coach Jeff Choate and defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski visited Pearland during the school's spring football practices. They convinced Ukwuachu to choose Boise State over Louisville and Illinois, two of his top contenders.
"I just know how much they believe in me, how much they pursued me," Ukwuachu said. "I like to play for people who know I can do it. That's what convinced me that I wanted to play with these coaches."
Ukwuachu plans to visit Boise for the first time later this month. He already is familiar with the Broncos.
"I've been watching them for a long time," he said. "I was always a fan of Boise State."
He began playing football in seventh grade but his college dreams date even farther back.
"I've been wanting to go (Division I) since I was little," he said. "That's all I wanted to do — play football and go to school. This is a dream come true for me. It's surreal. It feels like I was just a freshman yesterday. Now all this is happening. I just can't believe it."