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5 Things to Know About Otito Ogbonnia


Here are five things to know about Chargers 2022 fifth round pick, Otito Ogbonnia.

When he's not on the field...

You can find him in the kitchen as in his spare time, Ogbonnia loves to cook and bake.

He learned to cook on his own then took classes, and has gone on to make meals for his family when he was in high school, thanksgiving dinners for the football team at UCLA, and even baked a special cake for members of ESPN's College GameDay crew.

"He recently perfected his cinnamon roll recipe," Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the L.A. Times mentioned. "Next, he hopes to ascend to croissants and other French pastries where elite chefs can show their talents through delicate techniques."

Former multi-sport athlete

Along with football, Ogbonnia excelled in track and field, and won two state titles in high school. In 2017, he was the top nationally-ranked shot putter for his class.

Fast forward to college, and he participated in 13 events during the 2018-2019 season at UCLA and won gold in shot put at the Pan American U20 Championships.

"To be able to throw a 12-pound or a 16-pound shot put 70 feet takes enormous strength, explosiveness and speed," Ogbonnia said in his introductory presser after being drafted. "A lot of people think that it is pure strength, but a lot of it has to do with your hips and being able to drive from your legs, and being able to explode through your hips and through the front of the ring. Another component is just athleticism — I do a spin technique, so I rotate. To be able to rotate, at my size, and be do it really fast and explosive, takes quite a bit of athleticism. Those two things right there, as well as balance, those things really complement my game."

Reunion on the Bolts

Ogbonnia is the second UCLA Bruin drafted by the Chargers since 2020 joining Joshua Kelley who was selected in the fourth round of that year's draft.

The pair reunite on the Bolts after playing a couple seasons together at UCLA.

"He's been instrumental in this process for me because he's been one of those guys who has been there and done that and, of course, to go to the same team that he's on, there's nothing better than that," Ogbonnia said of Kelley.

Texas to California

Ogbonnia is a native of Houston and went to James E. Taylor high school in Katy, Texas before attending UCLA for college. After his time at UCLA, he won't have to travel far since he's staying in SoCal with the Chargers.

Though he's grown accustomed to life in CA, Ogbonnia said there was a bit of a shock at first, yet credits the move out west with helping him grow as a person.

"It was definitely an eye-opening experience for me in the most positive way imaginable," he told Justin Melo of The Draft Network. "It was just different. It forced me to get outside of my comfort zone, which is a good thing for personal growth. I definitely enjoyed some of the challenges and changes I encountered."

Frequent honor roll member

While at UCLA, Ogbonnia was a seven-time member of the school's Athletic Director's Honor Roll.

He earned his degree in Geography/Environmental Studies and per the UCLA website, expressed interest in going to law school after he's finished playing football.

He called attending UCLA the "best situation" adding it allowed him "to get a top-tier education at the No. 1 public school in the country, while also playing big-time football."

Take a look through some photos of the Chargers 2022 fifth-round Draft pick, defensive lineman Otito Ogbonnia from UCLA

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