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Monday's Daily Briefing: Ogbonda's commitment provides strong foundation

When building a recruiting class, sometimes the toughest commit to get is the first one.

In defensive end Shalom Ogbonda (rushing the passer in photo, right), FAU appears to have exactly the kind of player that could start a domino effect. Ogbonda was already receiving interest from BCS schools before he committed to FAU. Now FAU coaches can go to other recruits with tangible proof that FAU can be a first-choice destination.

Ogbonda realizes that his commitment could make it easier for other football players to choose FAU.

“It's a good thing, especially if it's coming from out of state,” said Ogbonda, who was born in England but now lives in Sugar Land, Texas.

The 16-year-old seemed genuinely excited about coming to FAU, selecting the school as much for its academic program as its football program.

Could he change his mind before February's National Signing Day? Sure. There's always that potential in this process.

For the moment, at least, Ogbonda says talk of his commitment not being strong comes from reporters who doubt that a player receiving interest from SEC schools would actually chose to play in Boca Raton.

“They are calling it a soft verbal commit because I'm from Texas and I'm so heavily recruited that I will change my mind,” Ogbonda said. “I believe it is strong enough. There's no reason for me to de-commit.”

As a final note, Ogbonda mentioned FAU's upcoming schedule more than once. While he likes the idea of playing big name schools, what really impressed Ogbonda was the attitude of the coaching staff – that FAU intends to beat those schools.

“(FAU has) the hunger to beat the best. That's as good as it gets for me.” Ogbonda said.

Now that the Owls have their first commitment, FAU has a far better opportunity to see how many other recruits feel the same way.

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We talked to Ogbonda on Sunday to find out what factors went into his decision to commit to FAU. Here is the story. And here is Ogbonda's video.

June 05, 2011

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