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Red Zone Play: Texans Role Model?

Jadeveon Clowney a big influence on rookie Charles Omenihu.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Born in the Houston area, a product of Rowlett High School in Dallas, and then the University of Texas, sports management major Charles Omenihu chose to wear the number 90 at UT because of his idol, Jadeveon Clowney. Now, having been drafted by the Houston Texans in last month’s NFL lotto, Omenihu gets to stand shoulder to shoulder with his idol and get after opposing quarterbacks.

And just like Clowney, Omenihu has a hunger to get better.

Austin American Statesman:

The 6-foot-6-inch, 275-pound end toyed with the idea of leaving school early and entering the NFL draft. But, he said this week that he came to the realization that he “left plays on the field last year” and wasn’t yet ready for the next level.

Burnt Orange Nation”

As a senior, Omenihu was second in the Big 12 in sacks (9.5) and tackles for a loss (18). These numbers were enough to bypass his sacks and tackles for a loss totals from the previous three seasons combined. All the hard work he put in paid off in the end, as Omenihu was rewarded with the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year award.

This patience and drive also paid dividends at the Senior Bowl and NFL combine:

Omenihu participated in the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine and had standout performances at both of these events. After having an impressive week of practice and forcing a fumble in the game, Omenihu was listed as one of the top performers from the Senior Bowl.

Omenihu ran a 4.92 40-yard dash, a 7.48 three-cone drill, and a 4.36 20-yard shuttle time at the NFL Combine.

While some question his ability to ever be anything more than average at the NFL level, Omenihu doesn’t want to hear it. His physical traits create a great platform to build on, especially in the shadow of J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Clowney.

Ft. Worth Star Telegram:

He has more than a 7-foot wingspan and 36-inch arms on his 6-foot-5, 280-pound frame, among the longest wingspans measured at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. How does that translate on the field?

The answer is simple if you ask Omenihu.

“Separation,” Omenihu said at Texas’ Pro Day last month. “If you can’t touch me, you can’t block me.”

While many are decrying Houston’s lack of an interior pass rush and even advocating for bringing in a player like Ndamakuong Suh (hardly a guy who’s ever been interested in being the best teammate he can be), when Houston has Watt, Clowney, Mercilus, Duke Ejiofor and now Omenihu, chances are setting the edge won’t be an issue.

Omenihu, a first generation American whose parents immigrated from Nigeria, will need to put in a lot of work to rise to the next level. Blowing up offensive linemen in the Big 12 is one thing; doing it in the NFL is quite another.

Where do you see him eventually landing? As another Texans great along the edge or just a guy who contributes from time to time?


How good will Omenihu be for the Texans?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    A first year starter headed for Pro Bowl glory!
    (40 votes)
  • 40%
    A situational contributor with some good highlight reel stuff.
    (107 votes)
  • 39%
    A name we hear a few times this year and watch out for next season.
    (104 votes)
  • 4%
    (13 votes)
264 votes total Vote Now