The state of Texas consistently churns out dominant football players each year, and the 2017 cycle is chalk full of highly ranked Texans, including defensive end Nelson Mbanasor. Coming out of Pflugerville’s Hendrickson High School, Mbanasor racked up 46 tackles, eight sacks and one forced fumble during the 2015 season, though his tape is indicative of skill greater than the statistics he has achieved so far.
Standing at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Mbanasor is a powerful defensive linemen who is listed as the No. 48 strong-side defensive end in the country, according to 247Sports.com. What allows Mbanasor to find such success in disrupting offensive sets is his strength at the point of attack, a trait that frees him of blocks and helps create chaos around the line of scrimmage.
Mbanasor says he sees himself as a “high motor, really physical” player, one who is aiming to remain outside as an end once he reaches the collegiate level. As of now, it looks like he’ll be playing college ball at Oklahoma State, as the Texas native issued his verbal pledge to the program towards the end of May.
“I felt like its a place I can go and play early,” Mbanasor told Today’s U. “I know a lot of people there. They really enlightened me on the whole Oklahoma State thing — good school, good people. I felt like I could go there and it’d be the best place for me to excel as an athlete and as a student academically.”
During the recruiting process, the Cowboys sold Mbanasor on the possibility for him to follow in the footsteps of All-American Emmanuel Ogbah, a player who also earned co-defensive player of the year honors in the Big-12 last season.
“I’ll be a two defensive end, like Ogbah was,” Mbanasor said.
Mbanasor will have big shoes to fill, though, as the former Cowboy registered 13 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, 19 hurries and three forced fumbles last year according to NewsOK.com.
In the time since committing to Oklahoma State, Mbanasor has returned to its Stillwater campus as recently as June to help continue to acclimate himself to the environment around the school.
“I was at Oklahoma State last month,” Mbanasor said. “I was there for a two day unofficial. I’m trying to go up sometime this season when they play the Sooners with some other recruits.”
With more than six months remaining until National Singing Day for the 2017 cycle, Mbanasor is not attempting to limit his options so early, however. The 3-star recruit holds offers from more than 20 schools, such as Arkansas, Houston and Purdue, and he discussed the outlook on his official visit schedule.
“Oklahoma State for sure,” Mbanasor said. “Basically if I take any other official visits, it’d have to be a school I like and respect and they caught my eye enough to take another one.”
That is yet to be seen, though, and Mbanasor is diligently working over the summer months to put himself in the best position to succeed during his senior season.
“Offseason has been going great,” Mbanasor said. “I’ve been doing offseason workouts with the team all summer. That’s pretty much all I’ve been doing.”
As a stout lineman capable of defending the run or the pass, Mbanasor is looking to expand his skill set and obtain better leverage with a lower center of gravity during his next season.
“Really leverage,” Mbanasor said of his focus. “I feel like I’m already good with my hands and I feel like I’m a good run stopper. I really have worked on my leverage and being consistent on every play.”