Omenihu finds success after returning for senior season

Alex Briseño

No matter where Charles Omenihu is, he’s usually hard to miss. 

The 6-foot-6-inch, 275-pound defensive end displays an all-business, level-headed confidence on and off the field. But that’s not his trademark. That comes once he starts speaking. 

Three simple words have become Omenihu signature anytime he steps in front of a microphone: You feel me? 

The phrase isn’t limited to a specific question. It comes naturally, at any point in a sentence, and most recently found its way into the bye week when he was asked if he had any plans for the off week. 

“I don’t really think ahead too much,” Omenihu said. “I stay in the present day because the day has enough trouble as it is, you feel me? When you think too far ahead, the trouble you have today might kill you.”

Throughout the bye week, players like freshman Caden Sterns headed home to see family members, friends and their dogs. Others spent a day at Austin City Limits. As for Omenihu, he watched film. 

“It’s fun,” the senior said with a straight face. 

He was asked why he didn’t go to the beach or do anything to get away from the strenuous season.  

“Right now I ain’t got money for the beach,” Omenihu said. 

He could have beach money, though. In fact, he could have more than beach money. 

At the conclusion of the 2017 season, Omenihu flirted with the idea of declaring for the NFL Draft. He requested evaluations from the NFL’s College Advisory Committee but didn’t like what he got back. 

“When you get a grade that isn’t as high as you want, that’s a factor,” Omenihu said. “You look at the tape and you have to be honest with yourself. Those dudes in the NFL aren’t playing games with you.”

It was obvious. The NFL wasn’t exactly feeling Charles, and he wasn’t feeling Sundays either, not quite yet at least. Omenihu isn’t the only player who was advised to return for another year of college ball. However, not every player listens to that advice, and instead opts to enter the draft for an opportunity to secure a life-changing amount of money. 

Omenihu wasn’t one of those players. He didn’t have much trouble accepting he needed to return to Texas for one last season. 

“You have to be honest with yourself. If you’re not honest with yourself, who is?” Omenihu said. “You have to be real with yourself and understand that they aren’t playing with you. It’s not a joke. Everybody is good. Nobody is average. They’re there for a reason, especially when you’re going against guys who have been there for eight years, and you’re just walking in.”

One year later, Omenihu’s honesty is paying off, and even more so in Texas’ last four games. The senior has recorded 6.0 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss and four quarterback hurries in the previous four matchups. Most
importantly, he continues to improve his draft stock. 

“It’s great that he stayed,” senior Chris Nelson said. “His mindset has changed tremendously. His preparation has been great. On Saturdays, he’s quicker, faster. I think he feels confident in himself when he walks out on Saturdays.”

There won’t be a decision to be made after this season, Omenihu will declare for the NFL Draft, and he’ll have something many NFL players leave college without: a
college degree. 

“This is a guy that’s going to get his degree, he’s going to improve his draft stock, he’s going to have the best season he’s had since he’s been on the 40 Acres and he’s going to help us achieve our best season that we have had around here in the last five years,” head coach Tom Herman said. “So it’s a win/win/win/win/win for everybody.”