WESTWOOD—Five-star defensive end Oluwole Betiku has announced that he will enroll at the University of California, Los Angeles and play football for the Bruins.
Betiku made the announcement on August 6 via his Twitter account.
“Huge pickup for UCLA in #ESPN300 DE Oluwole Betiku, nation’s No. 28 overall prospect,” ESPN’s Pac-12 recruiting reporter Erik McKinney tweeted shortly thereafter.
Though his exact ranking varies depending on the sports analyst—247Sports describes him as the #1 defensive end in the country, and the #11 player overall; Scout puts him at #3 for defensive end nationwide, #14 overall—Betiku can be considered impressive by many metrics.
He stands six feet, four inches tall, and weighs a formidable 240 pounds.
Oluwole Betiku—called Wole by his teammates at Junipero Serra High School—was born and raised in Nigeria. He did not play football growing up. LaVar Arrington, former linebacker for the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants, introduced him to the sport.
Arrington initially discovered Betiku while on a visit to Nigeria. Betiku’s natural athleticism impressed Arrington so much that Arrington became his guardian and brought him back to the United States.
Betiku has had less two years of football experience at Serra High, but he’s made every minute count. In his junior year, he played 11 games, amassing 59 tackles and 11.5 sacks.
“He works hard and he’s such an impressive athlete,” Serra High’s defensive coordinator and athletic director Joshua Dobbs told the Daily News. “You see a lot of guys who look like [Betiku] and they can’t play.”
Betiku is the third defensive player to commit to UCLA for college. He joins three-star defensive end Osa Odighizuwa and three-star defensive end Marcus Moore in the UCLA entering class of 2016.