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August 30, 2012
Pac-12: Top prospects who need to step up
Owamagbe Odighizuwa finished as the second-best weak-side defensive end and No. 8 prospect in the 2010 class with a great opportunity to excel at the next level.
But the former Portland (Ore.) David Douglass standout has not achieved much during his short time at UCLA and there is some concern he is getting lost in the shuffle.
"He was a little more raw coming out of high school than most pundits thought," BruinSportsReport.com publisher Edward Lewis said.
"His technique and overall feel for the game weren't quite good enough to be dominant at the next level so early. Then, in his second year at UCLA, the Bruins defensive coordinator (Chuck Bullough) and defensive line coach (Todd Howard) were fired, and that clearly messed up his development, as he recorded zero sacks that entire year."
Odighizuwa, the top player in the Oregon postseason rankings and an Army All-American, is listed as the backup to All-Pac-12 defensive end Cassius Marsh in UCLA's 3-4 defense and there has not been much talk about him this preseason.
That could change leading into next year when defensive end Datone Jones graduates but UCLA also has some other quality backups who could challenge Odighizuwa for the starting spot.
Any way the situation is looked upon, Odighizuwa has not yet lived up to expectations coming out of high school.
"His 3-4 defensive end spot isn't really going to be a position where he's going to pile up double-digit sacks or make big plays," Lewis said. "He has the chance to be a legitimate starter for UCLA, especially next year, when starting end Datone Jones graduates, but he doesn't appear to have the ability to be a game-changer for the Bruins anymore.
"Coach Jim Mora hasn't really said much, other than he likes the progress he's made at the end spot so far."
Below is a look at the other former top prospects who need to step up in the Pac-12. (Click player's name for a look at his prospect profile coming out of high school):