Priority Prospects: A Couple Local Drafted Rookies

BCP, May 8, 2019 – Here’s to the new week; bringing you a pair of drafted recruits repping the 813, that were selected within the first five of seven rounds in the 2019 NFL Draft.

CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State- The first-team All-Conference cornerback from the Bay area with elite 6’2″ 205-pound size, will continue his football journey as a Lion- but at the next level in Motor City. Amani was selected in round five as the eighth pick to the Detroit Lions in the 2019 NFL Draft, and his overall NFL prospect grade given per (before 2019 Draft commenced) was a 5.67; which translates to ‘chance to become NFL starter’ in their grade book.

“Our national scout is high on him because of his size and length. We don’t care as much about speed numbers as long as you can play the big receivers and make plays on the ball, but he has to hit our minimum speed numbers at the Combine.” ~ Pro personnel director with NFC team, via

The lengthy corner started 13 games in his final season, earning a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the league’s coaches and media, was selected first-team All-Big Ten by the Associated Press, named All-Big Ten by ESPN, the team’s Co-Most Valuable Defensive Player, with Shareef Miller and is a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. Amani Ranks fifth in the Big Ten, 30th in the nation with 1.2 passes defended per game and eighth in the Big Ten in the FBS with three interceptions. One of 20 players to make their first career start this year. Oruwariye is also one of 22 players to have earned their degree entering the 2019 Citrus Bowl.

As a junior, he appeared in 11 games, finishing 26th nationally and No. 4 in the Big Ten in interceptions per game. His six passes defended at Michigan State tied for the most in the FBS in 2017, and tied for 10th in the Big Ten in passes defended per game with 1.1. In his sophomore debut, he was readily available in 11 games, collecting 23 total tackles, 13 solo, and his first career pick-six. Amani was redshirted as a true freshman and saw a little action the next year, as a redshirt freshman with 5 tackles and a pass break-up. per

Oruwariye (pronounced OH-rue-war-ee-AY) showcased his lockdown secondary potential as early as his Gaither Cowboy days. With 35 games played under his belt per MaxPreps data, Amani tacked on 121 total tackles, 78 solo, 3TFLs, a fumble recovery, recorded 12 INTs with 77 return yards, blocked 6 punts, put up a couple receiving scores on 171 yards and 162 kickoff yards on 7 returns.

WR Diontae Johnson, Toledo- The 5’10” 183-pound pass-catcher out of Ruskin has amassed quite the list of honors and accolades in his collegiate career. As a freshman, he played in 11 games, starting his college stat-line off with 14 catches for 237 yards and three TDs, returning 32 kickoffs for an average of 22.8 yards per return. He was sidelined his sophomore season due to injury and was redshirted; retaining sophomore eligibility.

The versatile wideout achieved Mid-American Conference Special Teams Player of the Year, First-Team All-MAC as a wide receiver and punt returner, Second-Team All-MAC as a kickoff returner, and lead the team with 43 receptions and 663 receiving yards as a senior. He caught seven TDs, one punt return TD, and one TD off a kickoff return. His 23 career TD receptions ranks fifth all-time at the University of Toledo.

In his junior campaign, he was named first-team All-Mid American Conference as a wide receiver and punt returner. He was also named second-team All-MAC as a kickoff returner. Diontae is the first Rocket to make All-MAC at three positions since Eric Page in 2011. He racked up 74 receptions for a school-record 1,278 yards and 13 TDs; also posting 683 kickoff return yards, averaging 148 all-purpose yards per game; good for seventh in the nation. Johnson closed out the season ranking second in the Mid-American Conference in receiving touchdowns and yards, third in receptions and ended the year tied for fourth in the country in receiving touchdowns. Earning rights as just the seventh Rocket to crack the 1,000-yard mark. per

“Our regional scout had a good grade on him coming into the season so we’ve kept a close eye on him. He plays with a lot of flare, but I just wonder if it’s sustainable when he has better size and quickness over him.” ~ AFC personnel director, via

In his 27-game span as a Lennard High Longhorn, Johnson made his name known on the field and on the court as a dual-sport athlete. He honed in on his athleticism with the pigskin, as a quarterback in his sophomore and junior year. Under center according to MaxPreps, Diontae threw for 1,418 yards on 94 completions of 205 attempts, tallied 10 passing TDs and rushed for 282 yards. Assuming his senior role as a wide receiver, he racked up 1,017 yards on 35 receptions, adding on 15 total TDs; 9 receiving, a 34-yard pick-six, 2 punt return TDs, and 3 kickoff return TDs with 540 return yards total.

Johnson even posted some numbers on the opposite side of the ball for the orange and white, posting 34 total tackles, 30 solo, 2 INTs, and forced and recovered one fumble. If that’s not enough, more impressive are his special teams contributions; accumulating 30 punts good for 1,207 yards, averaging 40.2 per punt, with a long-kick of 61 yards and put 14 of those punts inside the 20-yard line.

Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor