Texas defensive tackle Moro Ojomo finally found his ‘perfect situation’

Matthew Boncosky

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the August 25 flipbook. 

Moro Ojomo’s path to starting on the Longhorns’ defensive line has been anything but straightforward.

For starters, the junior defensive tackle just recently turned 20 on August 15. Ojomo was born in Lagos, Nigeria before moving to California with his missionary father. Because of the customary education system in Nigeria, he started school earlier than most Americans and came to the United States two years ahead of his peers.

In addition, Ojomo has spent time playing three different positions along the defensive line during his time in college, prolonging the young talent’s development. Now in his fourth year at Texas and with a new coaching staff, Ojomo finally feels he has found his sweet spot.

“I kind of just found sort of a perfect situation for me,” Ojomo said. 

Ojomo first picked up football pads in California and played at the peewee level where he  competed against competition his age. As someone who was bigger than everyone else, Ojomo quickly found something he could excel at.

“I kind of just clicked in football,” Ojomo said. “That was where I fit in.”

Ojomo’s subsequent move to Katy, Texas set the stage for his development into a college prospect, but his young age added a unique challenge that he needed to overcome in order to get noticed by college scouts. 

Because of his youth, Ojomo said he did not separate himself from the crowd until his junior year of high school, but his standout performances for the Katy Tigers helped him secure scholarship offers from numerous D1 schools, including Texas. His three appearances as a 17-year-old in his freshman season with the Longhorns gave him the unique distinction as one of the youngest players in college football.

Since then, Ojomo has fought through older competition, numerous position changes and coaching staff turnover to develop into the standout starting lineman he is today.

“I’m a little bit unique in that situation, appearing on the college scene a little bit earlier, so there’s been patience on my side,” Ojomo said. “I’ve developed a lot. I’ve got to play basically three different positions while I’ve been here — nose, tackle and end — and that’s helped me in everything that I’ve done.”

While first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian has only been with Ojomo in spring and fall camp, he has seen marked improvement in how decisive the junior has become in the short time they’ve been together.

“Sometimes he would get caught almost in paralysis by analysis of overthinking (in spring camp),” Sarkisian said. “The one thing that he’s showing now in fall camp is he’s cutting it loose and he knows what to do.”

Ojomo also knows what he wants to do post graduation. The five-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll would like to pursue a JD-MBA, a dual law and business four-year degree, but he said he hasn’t officially decided yet as whatever happens with his football career will dictate what happens with his secondary degree.

Until then, Ojomo remains focused on his undergraduate business degree and his football career, soaking up tidbits of knowledge imparted on him from his coaches and notable Texas football alumni such as Brian Orakpo and Sam Acho as he navigates his position change.

“It’s been cool to be able to be as young as I am and compete on the level that I’m competing at,” Ojomo said. “I thank God, like, just being able to be patient and understand that everything works for a reason.”