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



The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc.


What: Luncheon Announcement of the 2006 College Football Hall of Fame Class

Who: At least three members of the new class of the College Football Hall of Fame will join National Football Foundation (NFF) Chairman Ron Johnson and NFF President Steve Hatchell for the announcement. Rece Davis, ESPN studio host for college football and college basketball, will emcee the announcement.

When: Tuesday, May 16 at 11 a.m. EDT

Where: Marriott Marquis, New York City
7th Floor Empire Complex
1535 Broadway (Between 45 and 46th St.)

Why: Capture the emotion of new College Football Hall of Famers as they express what it means to them to be recognized among the greatest coaches and players in the history of the game.

To Attend in Person or by Conference Call:
Please contact Phil Marwill at or by calling 1-800-486-1865, ext. 118 to reserve a spot at the event or to obtain a dial-in number and pass code for the conference call.

See below for a list of candidates on the 2006 ballot.

For candidate capsule bios visit:

Division I-A Player Candidates


1. Billy Ray Adams; Mississippi; Fullback; 1959-61
2. Troy Aikman; Oklahoma / UCLA; Quarterback; 1984-85, 1987-88
3. Trev Alberts; Nebraska; Linebacker; 1990-93
4. Bobby C. Anderson; Colorado; Running Back; 1967-69
5. Otis Armstrong; Purdue; Running Back; 1970-72
6. Steve Bartkowski; California; Quarterback; 1972-74
7. Bob Berry; Oregon; Quarterback; 1962-64
8. Bennie Blades; Miami (Fla.); Defensive Back; 1985-87
9. Tom Brahaney; Oklahoma; Center; 1970-72
10. Dave Brown; Michigan; Defensive Back; 1972-74 11. Ronnie Caveness; Arkansas; Center; 1962-64 12. Jim Crawford; Wyoming; Running Back; 1954-56 13. Randall Cunningham; UNLV; Punter / Quarterback; 1982-84 14. Jeff Davis; Clemson; Linebacker; 1978-81 15. Rich Diana; Yale; Running Back; 1979-81 16. Eric Dickerson; Southern Methodist; Running Back; 1979-82 17. Don Dufek; Michigan; Defensive Back; 1973-75 18. Ed Dyas; Auburn; Fullback; 1958-60 19. Carl Eller; Minnesota; Tackle; 1961-63 20. Steve Emtman; Washington; Defensive Lineman; 1989-91 21. Bill Enyart; Oregon State; Fullback; 1966-68 22. Thomas Everett; Baylor; Free Safety; 1983-86 23. Dave Gallagher; Michigan; Defensive Tackle; 1970-73 24. Kirk Gibson; Michigan State; Wide Receiver; 1975-78 25. Charley Gogolak; Princeton; Place Kicker; 1963-65 26. Bob Golic; Notre Dame; Linebacker; 1976-78 27. Terrence Hanratty; Notre Dame; Quarterback; 1966-68 28. Al Harris; Arizona State; Defensive End; 1975-78 29. Major Harris; West Virginia; Quarterback; 1987-89 30. Chad Hennings; Air Force; Defensive Tackle; 1984-87 31. Mark Herrmann; Purdue; Quarterback; 1977-80 32. Dick Jauron; Yale; Running Back; 1970-72 33. Johnnie Johnson; Texas; Safety; 1976-79 34. Chip Kell; Tennessee; Offensive Guard; 1968-70 35. Rex Kern; Ohio State; Quarterback; 1968-70 36. Jess Lewis; Oregon State; Defensive Tackle; 1966-67, 1969 37. Robert Lytle; Michigan; Running Back; 1974-76 38. Rueben Mayes; Washington State; Running Back; 1982-85 39. Pat McInally; Harvard; Tight End; 1972-74 40. Marlin McKeever; Southern California; End; 1958-60 41. Art Monk; Syracuse; Wide Receiver; 1976-79 42. Paul Naumoff; Tennessee; Linebacker; 1964-66 43. Bob Novogratz; Army; Guard; 1957-58 44. Tom Nowatzke; Indiana; Fullback; 1961-64 45. Phillip Olsen; Utah State; Defensive End; 1967-69 46. Jim Otis; Ohio State; Fullback; 1967-69 47. Dave Parks; Texas Tech; End; 1961-63 48. Mike Phipps; Purdue; Quarterback; 1967-69 49. Ahmad Rashad (Bobby Moore); Oregon; Running Back; 1969-71 50. Ron Rivera; California; Linebacker; 1980-83 51. Mike Rozier; Nebraska; Running Back; 1981-83 52. Lucius Sanford; Georgia Tech; Linebacker; 1974-77 53. Jim Seymour; Notre Dame; End; 1966-68 54. Sterling Sharpe; South Carolina; Wide Receiver; 1984-87 55. Jeff Siemon; Stanford; Linebacker; 1968-71 56. Ron Simmons; Florida State; Noseguard; 1977-80 57. Bruce Smith; Virginia Tech; Defensive Tackle; 1981-84 58. Emmitt Smith; Florida; Running Back; 1987-89 59. Chris Spielman; Ohio State; Linebacker; 1984-87 60. Larry Station; Iowa; Linebacker; 1982-85 61. Don Stephenson; Georgia Tech; Center; 1955-57 62. Pat Swilling; Georgia Tech; Defensive End; 1982-85 63. Darryl Talley; West Virginia; Linebacker; 1979-82 64. Jim Taylor; Louisiana State; Fullback; 1956-57 65. Lawrence Taylor; North Carolina; Linebacker; 1977-80 66. Clendon Thomas; Oklahoma; Running Back; 1955-57 67. Thurman Thomas; Oklahoma State; Running Back; 1984-87 68. Anthony Thompson; Indiana; Running Back; 1986-89
69. Gino Torretta Miami (Fla.); Quarterback; 1989-92
70. Don Trull; Baylor; Quarterback; 1961-63 71. Charlie Ward; Florida State; Quarterback; 1989, 1991-93 72. Wilson Whitley; Houston; Defensive Tackle; 1973-76 73. Clarence Williams; Washington State; Running Back; 1972-74 74. Reggie Williams; Dartmouth; Linebacker; 1973-75 75. Scott Woerner; Georgia; Defensive Back; 1977-80 76. Richard Wood; Southern California; Linebacker; 1972-74 77. Chris Zorich; Notre Dame; Defensive Tackle; 1987-90

Division I-A Coach Candidates


1. John Cooper: 193-83-6 (.695)
Tulsa (1977-84)
Arizona State (1985-87)
Ohio State (1988-2000)

2. Herb Deromedi: 110-55-10 (.657)
Central Michigan (1978-93)

3. William Dietz: 96-62-7 (.603)
Washington State (1915-17)
Purdue (1921)
Louisiana Tech (1922-23)
Wyoming (1924-26)
Haskell Indian Institute (1929-32)
Albright (1937-42)

4. Wayne Hardin: 118-74-5 (.612)
Navy (1959-64)
Temple (1970-82)

5. Dick MacPherson: 111-73-5 (.601)
Massachusetts (1971-77)
Syracuse (1981-90)

6. Billy Jack Murphy: 91-44-1 (.673)
Memphis State (1958-71)

7. Darryl Rogers: 129-84-7 (.602)
Cal State-Hayward (1965)
Fresno State (1966-72)
San Jose State (1973-75)
Michigan State (1976-79)
Arizona State (1980-84)

With 119 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, a non-profit educational organization, runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., Play It Smart, the NFF Center for Youth Development Through Sport at Springfield College (Mass.), the NFL-NFF Coaching Academy, and scholarships of nearly $1 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. Learn more at

NFF Media Contacts:
Phil Marwill, director of communications
Phone: 1-800-486-1865, ext. 118

Chris Caputo, communications assistant
Phone: 1-800-486-1865, ext. 117