Georgia State football players had their inspiration in 2012 as Christo Bilukidi made history for the program being the first to land on an NFL roster. Former linebacker Jake Muasau impressed the New York Giants to follow shortly thereafter signing a free agent deal.
Georgia State TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi. Photo Courtesy of Jason Getz/AJC.com..
For the 2012 Seniors, expectations may have been a little lower but two more Panthers take aim at the NFL as running back Donald Russell and tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi were invited to participate in rookie/undrafted free agent camps beginning this week with the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins, respectively.
We had a chance to catch up with Emmanuel who could be the GSU version of Rudy. Prepping at Mill Creek HS in Gwinnett County, Ogbuehi decided to walk on with a brand new program. The 6'3, 235lbs tight end prospect was not only mpressive getting off the bus but had impressive moments in his career. He spoke about his memories at Georgia State, working out for the Falcons, the process looking back at his Panther career and looking forward with his opportunity with the 'Skins starting this weekend.
PantherTalk.com: We were at the Pro Day and watched you put impressive numbers in the bench and 40 yard dash. What was the feedback from the scouts?
Emmanuel Ogbuehi: It gave me a lot of attention. The Redskins scout came up and talked to me right after and wanted me to run routes. It also got me noticed by several agents.
PantherTalk.com: So you didn't even have an agent at that time?
EO: I did not. [The Pro Day] really got me out there and gave me an opportunity to work out for the Falcons along with Donald.
PantherTalk.com: Being a guy who played in Gwinnett County, how was that experience working out for the Falcons?
EO: It was a great experience. I did not realize how close my family was from their headquarters and some of the [Falcons] staff knew my high school coaches. It was a really cool experience.
Georgia State TE Emmanuel Ogbuehi. Photo Courtesy of GSU Sports Communications.
PantherTalk.com: I'm going to go back a little bit here to your RS Freshman season as many Panther fans likely have one of your favorite moments in mind. First down against Alabama and the pass goes to you 55 yards. Walk me through that play...
[EO:[/b] [Laughs] It was a double vertical play. We actually called that play three days before. The ball was thrown a little bit behind me but I knew I wanted to catch it and make a big play. I snagged it and ran for my life. The Alabama DB [2013 1st round draft pick Dee Milliner] caught me up the sidelines. He caught me then but he would not catch me now.
PantherTalk.com: You've been away from the season for a few months now, how will your remember your time here at Georgia State?
EO: I'll remember the beginning, the [walk on] try outs, practicing on the old field, no games the first year. Just being one of the first players. For me to have an opportunity to play in the NFL from being a walk on is what I'll remember here. My coaches that gave me a chance in Coach Harmon and Coach Pugh.
PantherTalk.com: Have you met the new coaching staff and Coach Trent Miles?
EO: I did have a brief meeting with Coach Miles. He's definitely a no nonsense guy but he's cool too. All of the coaches knew me, they told they had seen me on film.
PantherTalk.com: You talk to new OC Jeff Jagodzinski and see how he is using the tight ends?
EO: [Laughs] Oh yeah. He told me he wishes I could play another year.
PantherTalk.com: Now that you're about to start your NFL journey, did guys like Christo and Jake last year inspire you to make this leap to the next level?
EO: Definitely. It made the goal [of making it to the NFL] more attainable. It made me work harder and show me that with hard work I could have an opportunity as well.
Special Thanks to Manu for the time today and all of the Panther Family wishes him well in Washington!