2018 NFL Draft Interview: James Okike, Wesley College

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Justin David Kish: Thank you so much for your time, James. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

James Okike: Well I’m James Agwu Okike, I’m the son Of Kingsley Okike Sr, & Abigail Okike is my mother. I am one of 8 kids in my family, 4th born. I’m a family man, take care of my family whenever I’m home to visit, I Am of Nigerian descent, my bloodline runs deep. I was not raised on sports even though my father played soccer back in Nigeria & my mom ran track but I was never forced to play A sport. I started playing football and basketball when I was very young. I played football and basketball all the way up into college & dropped basketball & stuck with football. I never looked back I’m the class clown, always having Fun, making people laugh, good vibes always when you around me. I am never negative. I always make sure my friends & family are good. If they need help or advice I’m there for them. & The loyalty runs deep with the people I’ve met & grew connections with.

Justin David Kish: You played college football at Wesley College. Tell us about your time spent at Wesley?

James Okike: I enjoyed every second, I spent at Wesley college. Wesley grew on me more than I could ever imagine. The coaches, teammates, athletic staff, most importantly the fans who have had our backs in everything we do. I came in with a lot of energy met a lot of good guys, some that’ll be everlasting friends some that I even consider family. I always was excited to see new things so coming into Wesley college I just pinned my ears back and enjoyed what Wesley dealt to me. Great memories, many laughs with the people from Dover, DE, one experience that I wouldn’t change.My time at Wesley was exactly what I expected it to be. I was given nothing and I was basically raised to earn my keep.

Justin David Kish: During your tenure at Wesley you were coached by Mike Drass and offensive coordinator Chip Knapp. How has the coaching staff at Wesley improved you as a player?

James Okike: Coach Drass & Coach Knapp improved me as a player so much but even more as a man. They taught me values in which I can use outside of football that I can use in the real world. Pertaining football Coach Knapp & my wide receiver coach, Coach Azz taught me how to prepare for a game off the field which I never really knew about until I got here. Got me into watching film a lot more, learning way to decipher which coverage’s defenses were in which helped me with spacing on routes and getting myself and the next man open. Just being consistent every single day even if it was a mental day, which were the most important days just staying on task and making sure everybody else was focused which lead to our success.

Justin David Kish: Playing in Division III’s Capital Athletic Conference you played against teams like Montclair State, Kean, and William Paterson. What is one game in your career that really took you to your limits?

James Okike: Every year playing Salisbury University, who is our rivals, gave me a great battles every season. Anytime we played them it was a close hard fought game. Great competitors.

Justin David Kish: Playing wide receiver you have been covered by some of the best defensive backs in Division III. Who was the toughest defensive back you faced and how did you fair?

James Okike: I’d say #5 Tre Jones from Mount Union was the best DB I’ve faced. Great guy, who became a friend after our battles. 3 year all American, he is the definition of a “in your face man corner”. He Got hurt when we played. I would have to say the second best player I have faced was #8 Michael Munday from Johns Hopkins University. Another great talent, good ball skills, and a good defender. I played possibly my best game ever. I had 9 catches for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Justin David Kish: When you look back at your career you created so many great memories. What is one memory that stands out from the rest?

James Okike: One memory that stands out the most is traveling with the team and just enjoying ourselves as a family, going out to different parts of the county for one reason to win and return back with the win. We went to Illinois, to face North Central in a game and it was a nail-biter. We went for two because we had a plane to catch the same day. We could have kicked the extra point to tie the game. We went for the two-point conversion and converted to win the game.

Justin David Kish: What does it mean to be a Wesley Wolverine?

James Okike: When you hear “Wesley Wolverines”, you automatically think about the integrity and the pride that everyone that came through Wesley has. I feel being a Wesley Wolverine you have a certain persona you must uphold, we are well taught, greatly mannered, disciplined, young men but when we are in the field of play; your unleashing well-trained beasts. We rise to adversity when it strikes because adversity comes daily. We are the Wesley Wolverines, we back down from nobody, prepare for hard times so we can persevere and prosper. To be a Wesley Wolverine, in a nutshell, means to be a fighter for a greater purpose.

Justin David Kish: Let’s shift our focus to the upcoming NFL Draft. How are you currently preparing for the draft and other pro opportunities?

James Okike: Right now, I’m training twice a day at my school’s weight room. I also have a nutrition plan so I’m putting all good foods into my diet. I hit the field on evenings to work on the little stuff, like route breakdowns, press releases, hand/ ball drills…etc.

Justin David Kish: What is one area of your game do you consider your biggest strength?

James Okike: My biggest strength I believe is my hands of course but I’d add my route running, ability to get open/ body control. I use my size pretty well. And when the ball is thrown off track or in a great position, I can use my body to go and get almost any ball that is in my vicinity.  

Justin David Kish: What is one area of your game that you are currently working on improving?

James Okike: Speed, I have been working on my speed since the season has come to a close. I have good speed but I’d like to have ELITE speed for my size.

Justin David Kish: Do you have the ability to command the players around you?

James Okike: I wouldn’t say command but yes I lead by example and I had the receiving core follow my lead since my junior season. We had other players who we followed by until they graduated. After they left they needed someone to step up, I took the initiative knowing what I could do and say to lead the group.

Justin David Kish: How was your chemistry with your team in college?

James Okike: My chemistry with the team was great, energetic, I’m one of the funny guys on the team so I made sure we had our fun, but when it came down to work, I’m strictly business. The team came together as a unit day by day. We competed at a level that at the end of the day we knew we gotten better as a unit.

Justin David Kish: What separates you from the rest of the draft-eligible receivers heading into the upcoming draft?

I’m Separated from every overall skill pound for pound I’m the best receiver, there Isn’t to many 6”3 receivers That Get In & Out of Routes Like Myself. My athletic ability Is Higher Than Most, & The ability To Learn Stuff The 1st Time I’m Told It Is at The Top. I learn things too quickly On the Field & In Film study. It’s Scary How Well I pick Up On Things & apply them To the Game.

Justin David Kish: In the next couple of questions, I am going to put you on the spot. My first question, if you were to compare yourself to any current NFL wide receiver who would it be and why?

James Okike: If I Could Compare My Complete Game to Anybody in The NFL Right Now, I’d Say Mohamed Sanu, A Character On & Off the Field in A Good Way, Great Hands Receiver, A Deep Threat but Loves to Catch the Ball Underneath & Convert Big 3rd Downs. Body Control Is Good, Great Size, hard worker, Playmaker.

Justin David Kish: My final question, if I was an NFL General Manager why should I draft James Okike?

James Okike: The reason you should draft James Okike Is because he is not a headache as some players are, he will never be satisfied with his position on the team, he is going to keep working like football isn’t granted for him. He will go out of his way and do the little things that you see in him when you made the decision to sign him. James will bring great energy to your receiving core & your team, he is a competitor. He is crafty and is always working on his craft. James Okike is a name that you will never forget.

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