Okidi goes from injury to glory on the gridiron

Jimmy Spillane, Staff Writer

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Steven Okidi is here and then in a blur, he’s gone. That is usually the story most defenders experience when they are trying to tackle Mesa’s standout running back. The 5’9 sophomore earned 2nd team all Mountain Conference after rushing for more than 800 yards. He returned this season after rehabbing from an injury that followed his 1100-yard rookie campaign. He enlightened me on this and an array of topics on how he found his way to where he is now and what he hopes for the future.

 

Q. Where did you grow up?

 

Okidi: I grew up in North Park in San Diego

 

Q. What made you want to play football?

 

Okidi: I always wanted to play sports. I was always skating, biking, rollerblading. My mom never wanted me to play football but in high school I decided to. I love being part of a team.

 

Q. Where did you go to high school and what was your biggest achievement?

 

Okidi: Clairemont High School, I was named Mr.Chieftan the highest athletic honor for a male. I also was First Team Central League multiple times.

 

Q. Who is your favorite team and player?

 

Okidi: The San Diego Chargers and Ladainian Tomlinson by far. He was like every style of running back rolled into one.

 

Q. How difficult was it rehabbing from a torn lateral meniscus?

 

Okidi: The hardest thing was mentally thinking I could but my body told me I couldn’t. I had to get over the fact that it would take time to heal. Preparing for the season was much tougher than before and I am at 95% now.

 

Q. What are you most proud of in your Mesa career?

 

Okidi: To stick it out and to finish what I started. I could have transferred to another school after the 1-9 season but I chose this school, coaching staff and team. I’m a dependable guy.

 

Q. Who are you being recruited by?

 

Okidi: I am receiving interest from Humboldt State, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado State. Hopefully I will get a scholarship from one of them.

 

In talking with Steven Okidi one thing comes across and that is a positive attitude. This has no doubt allowed him to come back from such a devastating injury. He is praised by coaches and teammates as a great leader and someone you want to go to battle with for 60 minutes on the gridiron. In being in his presence one is led to believe he will not only be successful in football but in the game of life itself.

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