If i’m to be completely honest I’d say that I get absolutely giddy anytime I hear an unranked Minnesota player is getting interest from the Gophers. Something about the possibility of a nobody from the Twin Cities getting elevated to the national spotlight gets me genuinely excited.
That’s part of the reason why I think Tyler Johnson is so important to Minnesota football. His records will be broken, but his significance to the cities cannot be understated. It’s because of players like him that I get excited about players like Omar Brown, who starred this past year at UNI, and Michael Olowo out of Rogers, MN.
Like Brown, Olowo has the measurables and physicality that you want out of a Power 5 corner. Where he surpasses Brown is in his raw athletic ability. Olowo is fast. Not just fast, I mean legitimately sub-11 second 100m dash fast. He’s not exactly Tyreke Hill against Minnesota competition, but he shows the type of reactive speed and agility that will make him an asset for a D1 program. Read on to see why I think he’ll be the next local DB to generate NFL interest.
Michael Olowo – CB – 6’0 170 – Rogers HS
Great overall length and adequately muscled frame. Not an obvious gym-rat but does not look all that lanky. Long uppers and lowers which pair well with his explosive athleticism. Ideal frame for a P5 defensive back.
Explosive lower body with long legs that gain a lot of ground. Looks slow at times because of this but he gains a lot of ground relatively easily. Might need a redshirt year no matter where he goes if he can’t put some muscle on his lower body. Shows some legit explosion turning and running with receivers or with the ball in his hand. Good reactive acceleration as well as he shows chasing the ball into the flat here:
Decent yet sloppy. Looks a tad janky coming out of his breaks and needs to tighten up his footwork. That being said he clearly has the explosiveness required for small area bursts. Along with fluid hips that turn and run easily. May just be a maturity thing at this point. That much length and explosivity in a relatively (compared to most top recruits) underdeveloped football player’s body is hard to control.
Fairly solid here. Not going to win many jump balls I don’t think. But Olowo attacks the ball and knows when to play it safe vs. when to go for the pick. If a DB can stay in-phase and has the length and discipline to play the ball correctly, he’s nearly unstoppable. Olowo shows that potential.
Back pedal leaves a lot to be desired. Doesn’t always sink into his steps and requires some exaggerated arm pumping in order to get back. Shows the ability to recover on double moves, get good hand placement, and run with speed. Some subtle press footwork which could use some more practice and polish.
Shows some ability as a deep third defender peeling off routes and breaking on things in front of him. Ideal speed to cover that part of the field without exerting himself too much. Doesn’t have as much film doing anything else and probably with good reason. Can get his wires crossed in underneath zone which impairs his COD and reactions.
Average to pretty solid in this department. Can shy away from big contact and other times will attack low to stop ball carriers in their tracks. More consistency alone on attacking low and bringing his feet on open field tackles will get him a solid 3 star ranking by all the major services.
Now Brown and Olowo are both about six feet tall and have high strung frames with tremendous overall athletic ability. In spite of this they both can look downright stiff when executing certain movements. They may get moved out of position but the raw power they possess to catch back up along with the length to contest the catch just makes them look a little clunky sometimes.
Brown still looks a bit clunky at UNI but he clearly covers ground and puts himself in good positions defensively. I see Olowo as a juiced up version of the freshman Missouri Valley Conference 1st teamer. Olowo’s burgeoning physical dexterity will eventually match up to his speed and size. When that happens, whoever takes this ℅ 2021 prospect will have an all conference player on their hands. He’ll most likely stay local which will be better for his overall development.
If Olowo goes FCS I think he’s a day one starter just like Brown but with Day 1 NFL potential. As a result I don’t think he gets there unless it’s NDSU or UNI. I’m not sure what the hold on is with the Minnesota offer and I won’t speculate. What I do know is that if he can’t land somewhere in the Power 5, he can always dominate the FCS. Not exactly a bad second option if you ask me.
Images courtesy of Hudl.com and Gopherillustrated.com