August 17, 2010
Tshimanga interested in Aggies, among others
Richland junior linebacker Jeremiah Tshimanga generated plenty of attention last year for his play, earning all district and sophomore of the year honors in District 3-5A despite playing two games with a broken wrist. However, at the state 7 on 7 tournament in College Station last July, observers couldn't help but notice Tshimanga who easily stood out among hundreds of players with his 6-foot, 3-inch, 210-lb. frame.
In fact, with the pace of early recruiting having picked up, it's not surprising that college recruiters already know about Tshimanga too. He stated that Texas A&M offered him this summer and others could be coming after Sept. 1 (the first day that written offers can go out to the class of 2012).
"A week after you and I met in College Station," said Tshimanga of the date when A&M offered. "They have been watching me since last year. (A&M assistant) Dat Nguyen came to my spring practice in April."
However, the Aggies are not the only school that has entered the race for Tshimanga's signature.
"Texas is talking about it (offering) so I'm sure that I'll get that," he said. "Other schools like Oklahoma State, LSU, and Boise State are coming after September 1."
Tshimanga and he noted that he is hearing from everyone except Florida and that Baylor, Nebraska, LSU, UCLA, TCU, and Oregon, have been some of the other noteworthy programs that have been sending him handwritten letters.
"I'm just in contact with some schools every once in a while," he said. "There's been nothing lately because school is starting. Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Boise really like me. I talk to coach Stevenson at Oklahoma State."
Tshimanga has three favorites at the present time and they include Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State.
I like their program and their foundation. You see people progress through their program from high school to college to the pros. They help you get drafted. They will help me progress and become a pro player," he said. "Dat (Nguyen) can help me as a coach. He has experience in the NFL as a player. He's well taught in the game and disciplined. He can tell me everything I need to know. I went to an Oklahoma State camp at Austin College and liked the way they ran it."
In the meantime, Tshimanga has two more years of football to play before he can hit a college campus. In fact, he's still got to get through two a days before the season starts and unfortunately so do his teammates.
"They take me out sometimes," he said. "They think that I'm going to hurt somebody."
Tshimanga is considered to be an ideal pickup for most programs because Richland runs both 3-4 and 4-3 alignments.
"I'm usually stacked though behind he defensive end. It's hard to explain," he said. "I react fast to what I see and I read my keys. If I'm anywhere near the ball, even if I'm on the other side of the field, I'm fast enough to get to the ball, attack the ball, and cause turnovers. I don't blitz a lot. I read my keys and everything depends on the formation. They may not need me to come and I'll peel away in coverage. I probably blitz like two times out of ten."
Tshimanga and Richland have a scrimmage this Friday versus Midlothian. However, Tshimanga and his teammates are really looking forward to September 6 when they face Euless Trinity that he hopes will put both himself and Richland on the map.
"I'm looking forward to the season" he said. "Euless Trinity is a big game for us and it's a big game for me to impress the scouts," he said. "But I've got to stay focused on football first and keep my grades up."
When will Tshimanga make a decision?
"Not any time soon," he said. "By next summer, for sure, before I go into my senior year. I've been nominated for the (U.S. Army) All-American game."
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