Kenyan football prospect switches commitment from UNC to N.C. State


Desmond Owino, a raw but talented defensive end prospect at Raleigh’s Sanderson High School, has switched his verbal commitment from North Carolina to N.C. State.

Owino, a 6-foot-5, 240-pounder, first made a pledge to the Tar Heels on Nov. 26 when Everett Withers was serving as interim head coach. But when Larry Fedora took over as head coach on Dec. 9, Owino began re-considering his decision.

Sanderson coach Tony Lewis said UNC’s new staff did nothing wrong. But Owino, who only started playing football this season after moving to the United States from Kenya, just felt he made a decision too soon.

“He feels more comfortable,” Lewis said. “He’s very happy with his decision, but there’s also a feeling of, ‘Boy, I’m glad that’s done.’ This was all new to him and his dad, trying to figure out what was best.

“It was a good problem to have, but I think he’s relieved that he’s made his decision. He’s looked at everything and had more facts in front of him.”

Owino, who has been timed at 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, averaged “five to six” solo tackles and “11 to 12” assists per game this season to earn All-Triangle honors from the Raleigh News & Observer. He is the 21st player to join the N.C. State recruiting class.

“He’s just got those intangibles that you can’t coach. He’s got long arms and big hands,” Lewis said. “They can teach him the game of football.

“He does need to work on his feet. They’re not bad because he can run. And that’s what gives him such an upscale of what can be possible for him. He had never been in weight-room lifting before he got here. I wish I could say (his development this season) was something we did, but it’s not.”




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