With college football teams having completed much of their senior recruiting, the focus is turning to younger players. Carroll junior defensive end-linebacker Yannick Ngakoue picked up his first scholarship offer on Tuesday from West Virginia, according to Lions Coach Rick Houchens.
“He’s the spitting image of Jeremiah Attaochu, but I think his upside is ahead at this point,” Houchens said, comparing Ngakoue to the former Carroll standout who had 59 tackles and six sacks and was honorable mention all-ACC as a Georgia Tech sophomore this past season. “That’s why he is going to start blowing up. Jeremiah was 191 pounds at this point, Yannick is 228. He’s a bigger, stronger guy that runs just as well as an outside linebacker.”
Ngakoue, who is 6 feet 2 ½, had 72 tackles, eight sacks, seven quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception this past season.
In addition to West Virginia, Houchens said he believes Maryland, Rutgers and Connecticut are all close to offering Ngakoue a scholarship. Houchens said he recently spoke with Maryland assistant Mike Locksley, who wanted to stop by the school to talk about Ngakoue.
“By next week, I think he’s going to have some more offers. He’s just one of those kids that’s a no-brainer D-1 guy because of his size, speed and excellent grades,” Houchens said. “Barring any injury, Yannick has an outstanding career ahead of him. He has all the tools.”
Houchens has had a knack for producing high-level players at Ngakoue’s position, including Derrick Harvey (Florida), Tre Covington (Maryland), E.J. Norris (Connecticut), Blake Smith (Akron), Will Davis (Illinois) and Matt Rice (Penn State).