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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Sam Olajubutu

Height: 5-09 | Weight: 227 | College: Arkansas
 
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Overview

The unquestioned leader of the Razorback defense, Olajubutu emerged as one of the most explosive defenders in the collegiate ranks in 2005 after moving to weak-side outside linebacker from the middle. One of the smallest defenders in the collegiate game, he compensates for a lack of ideal size with excellent key-and-diagnose skills and superb lateral agility.

Opposing offensive coordinators in the Southeastern Conference rated Olajubutu as the best defensive playmaker in the league, according to a recent poll. He was able to dominate in a conference packed full of talented offensive performers, as he went on to rank third in school history with 372 tackles despite battling through neck and knee injuries during his senior year.

Olajubutu was an All-State selection and named Georgia's Class 3A Defensive Player of the Year and West Georgia Player of the Year as a senior at La Grange High School. He was also chosen Class 4A Region Player of the Year as well as the LaGrange Daily News' Player of the Year. He was selected to the All-Columbus Ledger Inquirer squad in his final year.

Olajubutu recorded 170 tackles in his senior season in helping lead his team to the state title. Rivals100.com ranked him as the No. 54 prep outside linebacker in the nation. He also excelled in wrestling, finishing third in the state finals in 2001. He was ranked first in the state in the 215-pound weight class in wrestling as a senior.

Olajubutu enrolled at Arkansas in 2002, choosing the Razorbacks over offers from Mississippi State, Middle Tennessee and Troy State. He appeared briefly in three games that season, making two assisted tackles before the coaching staff redshirted him after he suffered a hamstring pull.

In 2003, he began the season as a reserve middle linebacker, but was forced into the starting lineup for eight contests when Clarke Moore was injured. He went on to rank third on the team with 85 tackles (45 solos), including three stops for losses and four pressures. He also picked off two passes and deflected two others.

Olajubutu returned to reserve duty for the first three games of the 2004 season before again being called upon to start the team's final eight contests. He came up with 52 tackles (39 solos) with 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He batted down four passes and also recovered a fumble.

As a junior, Olajubutu earned All-American honorable mention and All-Southeastern Conference first-team (league's coaches) honors. He moved to weak-side outside linebacker in the team's new 4-3 defensive alignment, going on to lead the team and rank third in the SEC with a career-high 118 tackles (69 solos). He added 4.5 sacks, 10 pressures and 14.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage while batting away three passes.

Olajubutu was again named All-SEC first-team and was a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award and Butkus Award. He served as team captain, starting 13 games, missing the Louisiana-Monroe clash with neck and knee injuries. He led the team again with 115 tackles (70 solos), coming up with 2.5 sacks, 10 stops for losses and 13 pressures. He also caused two fumbles and had a pair of pass break-ups.

In 50 games at Arkansas, Olajubutu started 40 times (16 at middle linebacker, 24 at weak-side linebacker). He became the 14th player in school history to register more than 300 tackles in a career, ranking third on the Razorbacks' all-time list with 372 tackles (223 solos). He had seven sacks for minus-31 yards and 31 stops for losses totaling 85 yards. He was credited with 27 quarterback pressures and 10 pass deflections. He caused four fumbles and recovered another while gaining 22 yards on a pair of interception returns.

Analysis

Positives: Has a smaller-than-ideal frame, but it is compact with good overall muscular development, a tight torso and good hamstrings, but is at maximum growth potential … Explosive open-field runner with good training room strength (but it doesn't translate to the field) … Shows enough athletic agility in his pass drops to possibly make a move to strong safety at the next level … Has the field vision and instincts to close on the ball in a hurry … Plays until the whistle and has the range to make plays all over the field … Puts in the extra hours in the training and film rooms … Reads the play well and is alert to blocking schemes, as he is able to read hats and track the ball down quickly … Very good at getting in position to keep the plays in front of him … Has good run-through ability on the outside blitz … Despite his small frame, he keeps his pad level down and shoulders square to fold the inside rush lanes … Has the lateral agility to shut down the cutback lanes and hits with good pop on contact to drive the lead blocker back and clog the holes … When he plays downhill, he shows the quickness to slip under blocks … Lacks the bulk to handle offensive linemen, but will keep his hands active in attempts to disengage … Does a good job of using his hands to jam and impede the route progression of short-area receivers … Has the body control and balance to lock on and mirror tight ends and backs … Does a very good job of making plays in space, as he has the nimble feet to sidestep trash and accelerates quickly to close … Very effective at breaking down and making plays in front of him … Has the change of direction agility and takes good angles to run cleanly and make plays on the perimeter … Consistent wrap-up tackler who does a very good job of adjusting to blockers in traffic … Does a good job of staying tight on his assignment in man coverage, as he is quick to shadow, showing a good feel for tracking the ball in flight … Has the loose hips needed to mirror underneath and gets the pass depth needed to cover the middle of the field … His vision and feel for the play developing generally has him in the right position to make the tackle when playing in the zone, as he is alert to picking up receivers in front of him on the switch-off and is able to anticipate the opponent's moves, demonstrating good feet in his breaks to jump the play and get his hands on the ball … He might not have the natural hands to make the difficult catch, but is good at reaching around the receiver to deflect the pass … When he times his burst coming off the edge, he is very effective at generating backside pursuit … Runs with a low center of gravity that makes it hard for blockers to get him off his feet.

Negatives: Lacks the height you look for in a linebacker and despite good weight room strength, it fails to translate to the field, as he doesn't have the size to stack and control at the line of scrimmage … Has active hands in attempts to split double teams, but will generally get washed out of the play by the guards and tackles … More quick than fast … Best when blitzing off the edge, as he gets absorbed by the bigger blockers too much when attacking up the middle of the line … Lacks the lower body strength to anchor and hold ground (better playing on the move) … Quick to read and react to the ball, but because of his size he will sometimes lose sight of the ball when trying to move around trash … Has good hand placement and punch to reroute receivers, but doesn't hit with enough force to shed blockers working in-line … Will get his hands up and time his leaps to deflect the pass, but is more of a body catcher and needs to learn how to catch outside his frame in hopes of making the interception … Size concerns could see him shift to safety at the next level, but he tends to bite on pump fakes a bit when playing in the deep secondary (also eyes the backfield for a long time) … Had a personal issue that needed to be dealt with earlier in his career as a sophomore, resulting in a one-game suspension … Might need further medical evaluation, as he was bothered by neck stingers and later a knee injury in 2006.

Compares To: SAMMY KNIGHT-Kansas City … We are not convinced Olajubutu can be an every-down type of linebacker at the next level, mostly because of his lack of size and playing strength. He is an instinctive player who has the quickness to play the middle of the field and might be better served following the route collegiate linebackers like Darren Woodson (Dallas), Adam Archuleta (Washington), Michael Boulware (Seattle) and Knight took by moving to safety at the next level.

Career Notes

Became the 14th player in school history to record more than 300 tackles … His 372 tackles rank third in Arkansas annals behind Tony Bua (408, 2000-03) and Ken Hamlin (381, 2000-02) … His 31 stops behind the line of scrimmage placed him 11th in school history, topped by Billy Ray Smith Jr. (63, 1979-82), Henry Ford (46, 1990-93), Jimmy Walker (37, 1975-78), Wayne Martin (37, 1985-88), Caleb Miller (36, 2000-03), Johnnie Meadors (36, 1974-76), Steven Conley (35, 1992-95), Jeb Huckeba (33, 2001-04), Marcus Adair (32, 1993-95) and Dan Hampton (32, 1975-78) … Olajubutu's 14.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage in 2005 rank 12th on the school's single-season record chart … His 18 tackles in the 2005 Auburn game was the 20th-best game total in Arkansas annals.

2006 Season

All-American honorable mention by The NFL Draft Report … All-Southeastern Conference first-team choice by the league's coaches and Associated Press … Semi-finalist for both the Chuck Bednarik Award (nation's top defensive player) and Butkus Award (nation's best linebacker) … Quarter-finalist for the Lott Trophy … Earned Player of the Game honors vs. Utah State and Vanderbilt … Started thirteen games at weak-side outside linebacker, missing the Louisiana-Monroe contest after he twice left the previous game vs. Mississippi with neck and knee injuries (neck injury was a reoccurrence after he first suffered stingers in his neck vs. Southeast Missouri) … Still managed to lead the team with 115 tackles (70 solos) … Added 2.5 sacks for minus 9 yards and ten stops for losses of 33 yards … Credited with thirteen quarterback pressures … Caused two fumbles and deflected two passes … The defensive captain led a squad that ranked 26 nationally in total defense (299.64 ypg) and 24th in scoring defense (18.29 ppg) … Had at least ten tackles in seven games.

2006 Game Analysis

Southern California … Opened the season with twelve tackles (8 solos) … Tackled receiver Chris McFoy for a 2-yard loss on a late second quarter reception … Caused a fumble when he stripped the ball from Steve Smith after a catch at the USC 20 with 7:25 left in the third quarter.

Utah State … Earned Player of the Game honors after posting thirteen tackles (8 solos) with a pressure … Took down Antraun McDaniel for a 1-yard loss on a run up the middle of the field one minute into the second quarter.

Vanderbilt … Named Player of the Game for the second-straight week, as Olajubutu made fourteen tackles (8 solos) and a stop for a 3-yard loss.

Alabama … Credited with thirteen tackles (5 solos) … Stopped Kenneth Darby for a 3-yard loss on a first-&-goal run up the middle of the line three minutes into the fourth quarter, adding four pressures.

Auburn … Had his fifth consecutive double-digit performance, totaling fourteen tackles (9 solos) with four pressures, stopping a drive with 10:39 left to play when he took down Brad Lester on a third-&-6 pass that netted 2 yards … With 2:21 remaining on the clock,

Olajubutu sacked Brandon Cox for a 5-yard loss on third-&-10, forcing the Tigers to punt and Arkansas would then run out the clock for a 27-10 victory.

Southeast Missouri State … Olajubutu overcame a pinched nerve in his neck to start and play 41 snaps, making three solo tackles … He batted down a third-&-15 pass with 8:22 left in the first quarter and stopped Clint Jones for a 1-yard loss on a late first quarter rushing attempt … He also assisted in sacking QB Markus Mosley for a 6-yard loss early in the second quarter.

Mississippi … Olajubutu played 31 snaps in his starting role vs. Ole Miss, but left the game on two separate occasions with a neck stinger and a knee sprain

Louisiana-Monroe … Missed the game with a knee injury, snapping a string of 31-straight games played and 26 consecutive starts.

South Carolina … Returned to the field and even though his health was not yet 100 percent, he still led the Razorbacks to a 26-20 win while recording three tackles, including one that stopped Mike Davis for a 1-yard loss on a rushing attempt during the game's first series from scrimmage.

Tennessee … Credited with eight tackles (6 solos), a sack and 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage … Sacked QB Jonathan Crompton for a 1-yard loss on third-&-15 with 0:09 left in the first quarter, forcing the Vols to punt … Caused a fumble when he tackled receiver Jayson Swain for a 7-yard loss at the Arkansas 27 on a reverse three minutes into the second quarter.

Mississippi State … Was in on eight tackles (2 solos) on defense, adding a pair of stops on special teams.

Louisiana State … Logged twelve tackles (7 solos), including one that stopped Keiland Williams for a 6-yard loss on a screen pass from QB JaMarcus Russell midway through the first quarter.

Florida (SEC Championship Game) … Olajubutu produced seven tackles (6 solos).

Wisconsin (Capital One Bowl) … Closed out his career with three solo tackles.

2005 Season

All-American honorable mention by College Football News … All-SEC first-team choice by the league's coaches, adding second-team recognition from the Associated Press … Moved to weak-side outside linebacker, starting eleven games … Led the team and ranked third in the conference with a career-high 118 tackles (69 solos) … Registered 4.5 sacks for minus 22 yards and 14.5 stops for losses of 40 yards … Credited with ten quarterback pressures and three pass deflections … Made at least ten tackles in five contests.

2005 Game Analysis

Missouri State … Named the Hogwired.com Defensive Player of the Week following his 15-tackle effort in the season opener, as he had a stop for a 2-yard loss and forced a fumble that was returned for a 44-yard touchdown by teammate Darius Vinnett.

Vanderbilt … Posted four solo and four assisted tackles in the conference opener, as he also registered two quarterback pressures and a pass deflection.

Southern California … Was all over the field in Arkansas' road loss to No. 1 USC, as he tallied a team-high 14 tackles, including 11 solo efforts and one stop behind the line of scrimmage, earning Hogwired.com Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts.

Alabama … Earned the same honor the following week after another stellar performance, as he posted a then-career-best 16 tackles and two sacks (-10) vs. the Crimson Tide … Went seemingly tackle-for-tackle with Alabama's standout defensive end DeMeco Ryans in that contest.

Louisiana-Monroe … Tied for the team lead in tackles with eight … His final tackle of the ULM game was the 200th of his career, as he also had a stop for a 2-yard loss and a pressure.

Auburn … Named the Hogwired.com Defensive Player of the Week after recording a career-high 18 tackles, including 13 in the first half … 12 of his 18 stops were solo tackles … His 18-tackle effort was the highest tackle total by any SEC player in the 2005 campaign … Also earned two stops for losses of 10 yards, including a 9-yard sack, a pressure and one pass break-up.

Georgia … Made seven tackles and recorded 1.5 sacks with a season-best 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.

South Carolina … Garnered 10 tackles and a pass deflection.

Mississippi … Registered nine tackles, a stop for a 3-yard loss and had two pressures in the Hogs' 28-17.

Mississippi State … Produced a season-low six tackles as Mississippi State tried to stay away from the Hogs' big-play linebacker … Still managed to rack up two stops for minus 4 yards.

Louisiana State … Finished his junior season with seven tackles, two stops for losses of 3 yards and a pressure.

2004 Season

Played in every game, starting the final eight contests at middle linebacker … Ranked third on the squad with 52 tackles (39 solos), including 3.5 stops for losses of 7 yards … Batted away four passes and recovered one fumble.

2004 Game Analysis

Earned a solo and assisted tackle as well as a pass deflection in the Hogs' 63-13 season-opening win over New Mexico State … Racked up six tackles, including five solo stops, vs. Texas. He also had a pass break-up vs. the Longhorns … Made five solo tackles, including his first tackle for loss (-3) on the season, vs. Louisiana-Monroe … In his first start of the season at mike linebacker vs. Alabama, he posted seven solo tackles in the Hogs' 27-10 win … Totaled four solo tackles in a starting role vs. Florida … Tallied six tackles, including three solo stops, and a tackle for loss (-1) vs. Auburn … .Registered six stops, including four solo tackles, vs. Georgia … .Produced a season-high nine tackles, including a tackle for loss (-2), in Arkansas' 24-21 road win at Mississippi State. Five of his nine tackles were solo stops vs. the Bulldogs … Finished the season with three tackles vs. Louisiana State.

2003 Season

Entered the season as one of the top reserves at the mike linebacker position behind starter Clarke Moore. With Moore out for a majority of the season with a knee injury, Olajubutu started eight games at that position … .Was Arkansas' third-leading tackler with 85 tackles (45 solos) … Tied for second on the squad with two interceptions for 22 yards in returns … Deflected a pass and caused one fumble … Had three stops for minus 5 yards and four quarterback pressures … Was suspended for the Mississippi State game due to a team rules violation.

2002 Season

Appeared in three games as a true freshman earning two tackles on the season … Saw his first collegiate game action vs. South Florida, logging eight plays and a tackle vs. the Bulls … Also played vs. Tennessee and Auburn, adding an assisted stop vs. the Tigers … Was then granted a medical hardship due to a hamstring pull.

Injury Report

2003: Granted a medical hardship after the third game due to a hamstring pull.

2006: Left the Southeastern Missouri game (10/14) with a pinched nerve in his neck, but returned later in the contest … Was twice taken out of the Mississippi game (10/21) with a neck stinger and a knee sprain … Sat out the following week vs. Louisiana-Monroe (10/28) when his knee failed to respond to treatment.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.67 in the 40-yard dash … 410-pound bench press … Bench presses 225 pounds 24 times … 570-pound squat … 335-pound power clean … 36-inch vertical jump … 10'2" broad jump.

Combine: 4.77 40-yard dash … Lifted 225 pounds 24 times … 34 1/2-inch vertical … 9'10" broad jump … 4.34 20-yard shuttle run … 7.33 three cone drill.

High School

Attended La Grange (Ga.) High School, playing football for head coach Steve Pardue … All-State selection and named Georgia's Class 3A Defensive Player of the Year and West Georgia Player of the Year as a senior … Chosen Class 4A Region Player of the Year as well as the LaGrange Daily News' Player of the Year … Selected to the All-Columbus Ledger Inquirer squad in his final season … Recorded 170 tackles in his senior season in leading his team to the state title … Rivals100.com ranked him as the No. 54 prep outside linebacker in the nation … Also excelled in wrestling, finishing third in the state finals in 2001 … Ranked first in the state in the 215-pound weight class in wrestling as a senior.

Personal

Kinesiology major, with an emphasis in Teaching … Enrolled in the College of Education and Health Professions … Member of the Lon Farrell Academic Honor Roll in Spring 2006 and was named a Hard Working Hog for the 2004-05 academic year … Son of Alice and Sam Olajubutu … Born 11/15/83 … Resides in La Grange, Georgia.

 
 

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