I was lucky to get in touch with Texas product Vic Enwere (pronounced On-Weary!) on Twitter yesterday, and the young man was kind enough to speak with me about his skill set, his view of star ratings, and his relationship with Michigan's coaching staff.
Before we get into the football side of things, how would your friends describe you as a person?
Fairly laid back, kind of goofy, funny, but really, really smart. A leader that also knows when to relax. Basically, I love what I do and I'm sure that everyone can see that.
Any idea what you'd like to major in once you get to college?
Umm.. I'm not sure. I might major in physical therapy, or maybe communications. One of those two.
What's it like to play high school football in the state of Texas? A lot of people see it glorified in movies and on television, but not many people get to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season in the Longhorn State. Tell us about that experience, and maybe the local stardom that comes with it.
It's like nothing you could experience anywhere else. Texas football is something that is above all else -- games are all packed like professional games. The level of talent, the hard-nosed mentality, both are are instilled in everybody down here at a young age. You don't see sloppy football. You see fundamental football, and pro-style offenses, with maybe a little bit more of a college twist to it. There's more substance to it than anywhere else, and it's very special playing in Texas. The atmosphere is just amazing.
Exactly how many yards and touchdowns did you put up this year? I recently saw your statistics but don't remember the exact numbers.
2,300 yards and 34 touchdowns.
How would you describe yourself as a football players? What would you say your strengths and weaknesses are?
I pride myself in being an all-around back. A lot of people see 6'1", 215 pounds and think I'm a slower power back. If you watch my tape you see power, strength, agility, lateral quickness, great catching the football out of the backfield, the ability to play QB in the wildcat, and reading the option. Stiff arms, movement, speed -- I mean, a lot of people see my size and long stride and this and that, but if you actually see my 40 time, which is a 4.41, it kind of matches up with the skill set of a smaller running back. The ability to line up in the slot, or out wide, or in the backfield; I see a lot of versatility in myself.
As far as weaknesses, I'm not really sure. I try to work on every aspect so I don't have one outright, crisp weakness. Like not being able to catch the ball, or running too high. I got rid of those things after my junior year, so you'll just have to look at the tape and see for yourself.
Is there any pro or college running back that you might compare yourself to?
Last year I got compared to Arian Foster a lot. This season, a lot of those comparisons changed. I even had a Tennessee coach tell me that he felt I was a more physical Arian Foster, whatever that means. I don't feel like I can necessarily compare myself to any back out there. Maybe TJ Yeldon a bit, or, you know, some aspects of Adrian Peterson's open field stride, and maybe pieces of Arian Foster molded into my game. Each of those running backs has a lot of those things that I can learn from, but I would say I'm just a different style of player.
You said you've run a 4.41. You feel like you can run in the low 4.4s with consistency?
I've gone up against A&M commits and different people -- and I outran them. I've got it on my tape, and I like guys to see that, you know? It's not like I'm running against nonathletic people. I'm running against four-star and three-star DBs who've played in All-American games and so on, and I've outran all of them throughout the season. If you look at the tape and see the concept of getting from point A to point B faster than those guys, their feet move fast, but they aren't covering the same amount of ground. My senior year, there are guys that are right there, but I outrun them.
Tell us about goals you might have for your college career. Maybe statistical goals, or starting early, or anything of that nature.
I don't necessarily have those goals right now because I've been thinking about high school stuff. Whether it's in the classroom or on the field, I want to be a pivotal part of a program. I'm not searching for any kind of numbers, but with the right mindset in whatever you do, those things will naturally come. I'm just looking for opportunity and success.
You aren't scared of competition, are you? You don't care about four-star backs and three-star backs, you just want to go in there and compete.
Never. It's never been like that for me. I've been a three-star throughout this entire thing. I had one offer and now I'm at twenty-eight offers, but my star rating still hasn't changed. Stars don't mean anything; they don't define who you are as a player. Guys come from different districts, and different competition. Our stats can be inflated or deflated. My skill set will get me where I need to be, and coaches will take notice of that very quickly. There's less fluff when it comes to me and more showing ability. I've never been scared of a five-star back, or a four-star back, or anything, because it doesn't mean anything after you sign.
Going over to the recruiting aspect of this, you're committed to California right now. Tell us why you chose Cal over your other offers.
They have the aspects I wanted, and they're trying to build something with new coaches in there. The year hasn't been what I wanted it to be, but you have to understand that they're working with someone else' talent. There is going to be a very early opportunity for me to play there and compete for that starting spot. That's important, because a lot of coaches will rule you out before you're even on campus. That fair opportunity is big.
I also have a good relationship with the coaches. They're good people and they do things the honest way. They were on me early, too. I know my junior tape wasn't what I wanted it to be with the injury and all, but they still believed in me and looked at me. That's what set them apart from someone like a Michigan State, who wasn't sure about me and may have been one of those so-so type of things.
Are there any other schools outside of California and Michigan that really stay in contact with you?
Missour is. TCU is. And that's really it. I talk to UCLA and Tennessee every once in a while. Missouri has offered, but TCU hasn't yet. That's kind of a wait-and-see approach.
Describe your relationship with the Michigan coaching staff. How long have you been in contact?
I've been in contact with them for maybe three weeks now. They're letting me know where they want me and how they want me to come up to see where I can fit in. They're also letting me know that there's a really good possibility of me playing early. I need to get up there and see how things are.
Who is your main recruiter?
Coach Singletary and coach Jackson.
You'll be at the OSU game this weekend, correct?
No, I'll be up December 13th.
What are you looking for in that visit?
I'm not sure. I just need to get up there and feel if that's the place that I want to be and has the things I'm looking for. Get a feel for the guys who are there and hear what they have to say. Really see if I can fit into the offense and into the team.
Will you reevaluate after the visit? Do you have a timeline?
I'll have everything set and done by signing day, and probably before then. If there was to be a flip, I'd sit down and think about it. I'll take all my visits and really make that final decision.
Of the few interviews I've done, Vic was by far the most confident and about his business. He knows that analysts out there doubt his speed -- myself included -- and he's not shy about why he thinks we're all wrong about him. It takes a lot of confidence to name backs like Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson and TJ Yeldon when describing your game, but Enwere sounded completely sincere and not at all doubtful when he listed them. You need that kind of attitude to be a successful back in such a grueling sport. And, even after all of that, I didn't get the feeling that Enwere was arrogant or cocky, but simply supremely confident in his abilities.
Michigan will get its shot here, but it also felt like TCU could instantly jump into the fold if it came through with an offer. He knows how bad of a season Cal has had, but he has done his research about why they're struggling and wants to remain honest with a coaching staff that he feels is comprised of good men. Don't expect a flip during his visit to Michigan, and keep an eye out for the Horned Frogs if they ever offer.