Baylor recruited Samuel Ukwuachu out of Pearland High School, but he wanted to go out of state to play college football.
Now the Bears are getting a second chance at the talented defensive end.
After playing at Boise State for two seasons, Ukwuachu said he’s transferring to Baylor in June. The 6-4, 230-pound Ukwuachu is coming off a freshman All-America season in which he collected 35 tackles, 4.5 sacks, seven tackles for losses and three fumble recoveries.
“I feel like I can add a smart linebacker-defensive end who is an effective pass rusher,” Ukwuachu said. “I can use my speed to get around the corner or drop back in coverage. I feel like I can be used in a lot of ways. I’ve gotten bigger and stronger, and I can add some depth to the defensive line.”
Boise State announced on May 7 that Ukwuachu was dismissed from the team for an unspecified violation of team policy.
“It was a personal issue that I don’t want to go in depth with,” Ukwuachu said. “But it wasn’t a big issue. A minor problem occurred and the coaches decided I needed to get a fresh start with somebody else.”
Ukwuachu redshirted at Boise State in 2011 before moving into the starting lineup last season. He’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining at Baylor after sitting out the upcoming season under NCAA transfer rules. However, he said he’ll apply to the NCAA for a waiver to play immediately.
Ukwuachu will reunite with former Pearland teammate Kendall Ehrlich, a redshirt freshman linebacker for the Bears. Ukwuachu is excited to find a college closer to home.
“I didn’t want to be in Texas out of high school,” Ukwuachu said. “But I began looking at my options and I wanted to be closer to home.”
Ukwuachu made his decision after visiting Baylor’s campus on Monday, and is looking forward to playing under defensive coordinator Phil Bennett.
“Coach Bennett really asserts himself – when he’s in a room you know it,” Ukwuachu said. “He has good energy like I’m used to, and he knows what he’s doing because he’s got experience.”