Meet the Bay Area NFL Draft Prospects: Stanford Linebacker Bobby Okereke

STANFORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Linebacker Bobby Okereke had a very successful career on the Farm in his five-year career for the Stanford Cardinal.

FULL LIST: Top Bay Area college football prospects for NFL Draft

But his accomplishments came before he even stepped foot on a college campus.

Okereke achieved Eagle Scout Status and won the prestigious Watkins Award.

The award honors the nation's top African-American high school player in terms of academic and athletic excellence.

RELATED: NFL Draft 2019: Watch full coverage on ABC7

He continued his success on and off the field at Stanford where he was a contributor for the Cardinal all five years.

From reserve to key piece on the Stanford defense, Okereke improved his numbers yearly and became a mainstay for the Cardinal.

"I believe that I have a pretty unique play style of length, speed and athleticism," Okereke said.



Seven tackles his freshman year, 41 his sophomore, a jump to 96 in his junior campaign and he closed it off with with another 96 total tackle performance in his final year.

That totals up to 240 total tackles (114 solo), 19 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and nine passes defended in 51 career games.

Okereke wasn't afraid to shine when the lights were the brightest.

He led the team with 13 tackles in the "Big Game" against Cal his senior year.



He had seven tackles and a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown against Washington State in his junior year.

But the stats only tell part of the story.

Now everything is set on becoming a high draft pick.

"I've been going through the transition of becoming a professional," Okereke said. "I'm no longer a college student so you spend time on your body and your craft. It's been fun."

The production he had at Stanford allowed him to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine and Senior Bowl.



"The Senior Bowl was good, but honestly it was just great to compete," Okereke said. "The Senior Bowl you compete with some of the best guys in the nation. The combine is where you compete with some freaks. Then for the last day on the Stanford field I got to compete with my brothers."

Okereke once again produced on the big stages, like the combine and his Pro Day, as he continued to catch the attention of scouts.



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Still, some scouts see Okereke as an undersized but instinctive linebacker prospect that should be drafted sometime on Day 2 of the NFL Draft.

But he continues to be confident in himself.

He thinks he can be a difference maker in the league like one of his college rivals.

"Jaylon Smith is a guy that I try to mold my game after," Okereke said. "He's kind of a freak, so it would be good to be considered in the same category as him."

Linebackers for Stanford have had success in the NFL and Okereke hopes to be the next piece of that tradition.

For someone who has succeeded so far personally at every level, the sky continues to be the limit for Bobby Okereke.

"I think my agent said that I won't make it out of the second round but it's not really up to me. I just have to keep checking the boxes and keep doing well. We'll see how it goes," Okereke said.



Follow along with ABC7 Sports Anchors Larry Beil and Mindi Bach as well as Community Journalist Dustin Dorsey for updates throughout the NFL Draft.

NFL DRAFT SCHEDULE ON ABC7:

Round 1: Thursday Apr. 25, 2019 - 5:00 p.m. PST

Rounds 2 & 3: Friday Apr. 26, 2019 - 4:00 p.m. PST

Rounds 4-7: Saturday Apr. 27, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. PST
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