With Stanford commitment behind him, Tobe Umerah focuses on final season at Stratford
Tobe Umerah was ready for his recruitment to end.
The recruiting cycle, as always, included calls, visits and letters from college coaches. There was even a well-publicized helicopter landing by Georgia head coach Kirby Smart at Stratford’s campus.
So Umerah made his choice, and he’s happy to have that behind him as he enters his senior season at Stratford.
“It was a huge wave of relief because a bunch of colleges were contacting me, and it started to get a little stressful. Committing let me be normal again,” said Umerah, who has committed to Stanford and is focused on his final season with Stratford. “I’m ready for it. I’ve been training for this my whole life, well not my whole life, but my whole high school career. So I’m ready for this senior season.”
That senior season opens Aug. 25 at Savannah Country Day. Umerah was the GHSA Region 7A-1A Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 when he had 86 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, eight sacks, eight hurries and two fumble recoveries.
“He’s just got some of the intangible things along with the physical, mental, that just makes him a standout guy,” Stratford head coach Mark Farriba said. “Of course, being that guy, he has to understand he’s going to draw a lot of attention. You have to know a little bit about, ‘Where is he? What are we going to do about him?’ that sort of thing. He’s going to have to adjust to that.
“He’s not going to slide under the radar on anybody. He’s just an outstanding player for us really.”
Umerah plays on the defensive line for Stratford, but Stanford plans to use him as an outside linebacker. Umerah has been planning for that transition by working at linebacker in camps.
He is also already planning for a transition after football once his career ends.
“It’s just the opportunity I can get out of it because I know that football can only take me so far,” Umerah said of his college choice. “So I wanted to go where I know the education is world class so I can think about life after football.”
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Stratford head coach Mark Farriba previews the Eagles’ 2017 season.
Daniel Shirley and Jason VorheesThe Telegraph
Umerah isn’t the only talented senior on the Eagles’ roster. Farriba likes what he has seen of his senior class, which includes wide receiver/defensive back Nathan Hunt, running back/defensive back Tyler Jordan, tight end/linebacker Larson McDaniel, place-kicker Jake Jamison, offensive lineman/linebacker Tucker Massey, offensive lineman/defensive lineman Sammy Martin and offensive lineman/defensive lineman Jourdain Irvin.
“We’ve got a really good senior group. They’ve played a lot for us,” Farriba said. “I could just go down the list of all the seniors, and I would leave somebody out. They have played a lot of football. They’ve been in it for a long time, and they’ve really done a good job of just stepping up and working hard and really reaching out to the other guys and trying to encourage them, too. So our senior class, I’m really excited about them.”
Stratford Eagles 2017
Head coach: Mark Farriba.
2016 record: 8-4.
Returning starters (offense/defense): 7-7.
Players to watch: Tobe Umerah (Sr., DL); Nathan Hunt (Sr. WR/DB); Tyler Jordan (Sr., RB/DB); Larson McDaniel (Sr., TE/LB/P); Jake Jamison (Sr., PK); Tucker Massey (Sr., OL/LB); Sammy Martin (Sr., OL/DL); Jourdain Irvin (Sr., OL/DL); Jamie O’Quinn (Jr., RB/DB); Christian Palmer (Jr., QB); Jonathan Siegel (Jr., RB/DB); Deondre Duehart (Soph., RB/LB).
Aug. 25 at Savannah Country Day
Sept. 1 Landmark Christian
Sept. 8 Atkinson County
Sept. 22 at Lincoln County
Sept. 29 at Mount de Sales
Oct. 6 Twiggs County
Oct. 13 FPD
Oct. 20 at Wilkinson County
Oct. 27 at Tattnall Square
Nov. 3 Region 7-A play-in