The Michael Ojemudia experience has been a wild ride the last several years. From starting as a redshirt freshman, to getting benched in favor of a dude that only used the “Hit Stick” when it came to tackling (we’ll see how well that pans out for ol’ Emmanuel Rugamba when the Hawkeyes see him Week 1) to winning his spot back, losing it again, earning it back, tweaking his hamstring (slowing his level of play for the first portion of the 2018 season) before finally establishing himself at the end of last season as a playmaker in waiting. But if Iowa’s last game of the season is any sort of peek into the future, things are looking way, way up for the redshirt senior:
Michael Ojemudia's interception stops Nebraska's drive. pic.twitter.com/xgk4hSuwgK— On Iowa (@GazetteOnIowa) November 23, 2018
Plus, it’s important to remember that Ojemudia was a Big Ten Media Day selection by the coaching staff which is ALWAYS an indication that the Iowa Hawkeyes are going to be depending on Ojemudia to be a leader that finally discovers the consistency in his play that will allow him to be Phil Parker’s voice on the field.
Michael Ojemudia— Senior
Farmington Hills, MI (Harrison)
6’1”, 200 lbs
2019 Projection: RCB
The very best thing about the prospect of Ojemudia is that he’s got the prototypical build of a Parker corner. He’s long, physical, plays with a chip on his shoulder and finds ways to make plays (he finished last season with three interceptions despite the bum leg and partial playing time). He’s always shown the flashes and there is no denying the talent is there, it’s merely a question of can he stay on the field?
With a little health luck, Ojemudia will be an integral part of this defense – especially with Iowa moving to a base Nickel (aka CASH). Parker knows that he can move Ojemudia (and guys like D.J. Johnson, Julius Brents, Terry Roberts and to a lesser extent, Riley Moss) all over the field to get the best athletes and playmakers on the field (expect to see this happen throughout the Miami of Ohio game). Plus, he’s easily Iowa’s most experienced defensive player going into 2019. As I mentioned earlier, there isn’t anything that the senior hasn’t seen; which can be HUGE for all of the talented backs that are in the program now.
Another opponent finds out Kinnick is a no-fly zone the hard way, courtesy of Michael Ojemudia: pic.twitter.com/vzXGqgQV6P— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) September 16, 2018
The secondary is one of Iowa’s greatest strengths this season and their success is going to be in big part because of Ojemudia’s leadership on and off the field. If Iowa plans on being a championship caliber team, this unit is going to have to be elite. And if you take Ojemudia at his word, it sounds like that’s in the plans:
Michael Ojemudia and the #Hawkeyes plan to carry the momentum of the 2018 finish into the start of 2019: "The way we're gonna prepare is as a championship team." #B1GMediaDays pic.twitter.com/MOSDyqg4gh— HawkeyeHQ.com's Ryan Jaster (@Hawkologist) July 20, 2019