The terms “late bloomer” and “diamond in the rough” are used a lot in sports and those phrases definitely apply to 2022 3-star defensive end Tomiwa Durojaiye.
First off, the native of Middletown, Delaware didn’t really start playing football until the last two seasons. After a breakout junior season in which he collected 45 tackles, including 19.5 for loss and racked up 8.5 sacks, Durojaiye’s recruitment was impacted by the recruiting dead period, as he was still very much an unknown in the eyes of Power Five programs.
That all changed in January when he received his first Division I offer and since then, Durojaiye’s recruitment has taken off as he’s received over 20 more.
On Sunday, Durojaiye (6-foot-5, 250-pounds) decided to narrow this list of offers down to eight schools and it included Neal Brown and the West Virginia Mountaineers. The schools making the first cut along with West Virginia are Arkansas, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Iowa, South Carolina, Northwestern and Duke.
Following his first cutdown, West Virginia Sports Now spoke with Durojaiye about these last few months and what stood out to him about the Mountaineers.
“A couple big things that went into my decision were education that I’d receive from the school as well as the competition of football that I’d be playing,” Durojaiye told West Sports Sports Now. “The Power Five conferences were a big thing for me because I’d be playing a high level of football. I also looked a lot into who I felt wanted to develop me the best.”
“This all has been very gratifying and humbling. I honestly feel like I’m one of the most underrated players in the country. If I would have played football earlier or if I would’ve been in a different state my freshman or sophomore year, I’m very confident I would’ve been a four-star recruit right now. I feel things could’ve been different and I could’ve been a bigger recruit but I don’t feel like I would’ve been where I am now development wise. I played one year of football in 5th grade and then 6th thru 8th grade I just played basketball. I picked it back up in 9th grade but didn’t really play until my 10th grade season.”
Durojaiye feels his biggest strength on the field are his versatility on the field, his ability to use his hands “as a weapon” against opposing offensive lineman and also the effort he gives on the field.
— Tomiwa Durojaiye (@TomiwaDurojaiye) April 6, 2021
“I always want to make a play,” said Durojaiye. “I don’t care if the play is far away from me or close to me. I always want my teammates and coaches to look at me and know that I’m going to be the one to make a play when one needs made.”
— Tomiwa Durojaiye (@TomiwaDurojaiye) March 28, 2021
Now that he’s down to eight schools, Durojiye is starting the process of lining up visits. Players are only permitted five official visits but he’s seriously considering all eight of the teams he listed. Durojaiye tells WV Sports Now that he plans on trying to visit all eight and nothing should be read into anything if a school gets an unofficial visits instead of an official. He is seriously considering all schools especially the Mountaineers.
“I like West Virginia a lot and have gotten nothing but love from the staff. I plan on going up to West Virginia the first week that the dead period ends. If they’re not the first, they’ll be the second school that I hit up once the dead period ends. They are really high on my list. I feel like I would be really developed there and on top of that, playing close to home isn’t a factor but, that is the closest school to my home, being only four hours away.”
Two visits that Durojiye has scheduled are to Arkansas (June 4-6) and Georgia Tech (June 11-14).