Monday, May 15, 2006

Ononibaku Invited to Washington Redskins Rookie Mini-Camp

CONTACT: Mike “Mex” Carey (202-687-2475)

Ononibaku Invited to Washington Redskins Rookie Mini-Camp

Washington, D.C. – Georgetown University senior football player Michael Ononibaku (Amherst, Mass./Amherst) will start the dream of a lifetime this weekend.

Ononibaku, a first-team All-America selection by the American Football Coaches Association in 2005, was among a group of players invited by the Washington Redskins to participate in a rookie mini-camp at their training facilities in Ashburn, Virginia this weekend. Should he perform well enough, Ononibaku could then be signed to a free agent contract with a chance to make the team.

“I’m really excited, but nervous too,” Ononibaku said. “There are no guarantees with this. I’m just going to do my best and leave everything else in God’s hands.”

Following the 2005 season, Ononibaku played in the East Coast Bowl, an all-star game for players from Division I-AA, II and III programs. Georgetown strength and conditioning coach Augie Maurelli and his teammates continued to work out with him as he hoped to catch a team’s eye.

“More recently, I’ve been doing a lot of football-related drills,” he said. “Before that, Augie had me doing more athletic and combine-specific drills, like running the 40 and three-cone drills. Lately, I’ve been getting out on the field and doing passing and catching. I think I’m ready. I’m as good as I’m going to be. I’ve just got to go out and perform these next couple of days.”

Ononibaku capped a stellar career with a strong senior year in 2005. In addition to being named first-team All-America by the AFCA, he was named second team All-American by The Sports Network, was tabbed an honorable mention selection by the Don Hansen Football Gazette and a first-team All-Northeast Region selection by that publication.

In addition, Ononibaku, who had the honor of wearing the prestigious No. 35 Joe Eacobacci Memorial jersey for two-straight years (honoring a former player who was killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001) was a three-time All-Patriot League selection and earned All-Academic honors.

The Hoyas finished the 2005 season with a 4-7 overall record and a 2-4 mark in the Patriot League. Georgetown, which posted conference wins over Bucknell and Fordham, was led by a defense that ranked third in the league overall, first in the league in pass defense and sixth in the country in that category. Leading that unit was Ononibaku, who capped off his four-year career by earning first team Patriot League honors for the second-straight year.

One of the team’s captains, Ononibaku finished third on the team, and 10th in the Patriot League, in tackles with 81 (39 solo), a 7.4 per game average. He led the conference in both sacks, with 8.5 (seven solo), and tackles for loss, with 15.5 (13 solo). He finished the season ranked among the top-25 in the country in tackles for loss. In conference games, Ononibaku led the league with 10.0 tackles for loss in seven games, and third in the league with 4.5 sacks.

Ononibaku also finishes his career second all-time at Georgetown in sacks with 29, and sixth all-time in tackles with 212.

There is still a long road for the 6-1, 235-pound defensive end. He was not selected in the National Football League draft and wasn’t signed immediately to a free agent deal, so he knows that in order to get invited back, this weekend will be key.

“This is the way to get my foot in the door,” Ononibaku said. “There are a lot of ways to get to the NFL. It’s a great opportunity and hopefully I can make an impression on the coaches. I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.”

Mike "Mex" Carey

Sports Information Director

Georgetown University

McDonough Arena

Washington, D.C. 20057

Phone: 202-687-2475



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