Browns’ Ifo-Ekpre Olomu To Sit Out 2015 Season
One of college football’s most intriguing prospects will have to wait until 2016 to prove his worth in the professional ranks, following news out of Cleveland that freshly-drafted cornerback Ifo-Ekpre Olomu will sit out the upcoming season to continue recovery from a serious knee injury suffered in college.
The news is disappointing but not unexpected for NFL and college football fans alike. A feared leader of the Oregon Ducks’ defense and a vaunted athlete in their secondary, Olomu was enjoying a stellar college career until sustaining a torn ACL and dislocated knee during practice in the lead up to a national championship semi-final against Florida State.
For as devastating as they are, ACL tears have become commonplace in football. And while a recovery time of twelve months is typically the norm, cases like Olomu’s serve as stark reminders that each athlete’s body heals differently.
For Olomu, the injury that sent him hurtling from All-American first round pick to a seventh-round investment for the Browns must still feel somewhat relieving given the fickleness of franchises on draft day when it comes to damaged goods fresh out of college.
“I definitely feel like I was [a first round pick],” Olomu said after being drafted. Cleveland coach Mike Pettine said of the decision, “Players that have had this injury before, it’s rare that you would return that season. Given our depth, we’re very comfortable with him sitting out. That’s just one that we felt it was a low-risk, high-reward move when we took him in the seventh round. There’s no reason to rush it back given the depth in that room now anyway.”
A genuine ball hawk at Oregon, Olomu showed impressive speed, strength and play diagnosis skills in big moments. If he can recuperate and meet even a fraction of his pre-injury self, the Browns will be treated to a solid contributor in their secondary for many years to come.