Former Arizona hoops player Onobun drafted by Ramsby Anthony Gimino on Apr. 24, 2010, under Sports
You wonder what Fendi Onobun could have done had he played four years of college football rather than college basketball.
Onobun, the former backup Arizona power forward with the rock-solid body, was selected by the St. Louis Rams with the first pick of the sixth round in Saturday’s NFL Draft. Onobun transferred to his hometown University of Houston after the 2008-09 school year in order to use his one remaining year of eligibility in football.
He didn’t play all that much, limited by a preseason ankle sprain while he learned the position, but his potential and athleticism were never in question. Late in the season, he ever earned Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week honors after he blocked two extra points, including one that was returned 100 yards for two points for the Cougars.
Late last month at Houston’s Pro Day, Onobun dazzled scouts by running a time of 4.48 seconds for 40 yards and posting a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump. With those kind of measurables, plenty of NFL teams figured it was worth the investment to try to coach him up. The Rams beat everyone to the punch.
After his basketball career ended in April 2009 in the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis, Onobun talked to the Citizen’s Steve Rivera about trying football.
“It would be a challenge,” he said. “It’s worth giving it a shot if the opportunity is there.”
Onobun was a basketball fan favorite at Arizona and his positive attitude has served him well in his transition to football. As far as late-round picks, there won’t be many players who have as much upside.
Here’s a nice story on Onobun from SI.com.