January 20, 2005
Ekom Udofia’s football season was cut short last fall by a broken leg, but that doesn’t appear to have cut down the Chaparral High School senior defensive lineman’s accolades.
Udofia has been named to Parade magazine’s 42nd annual All-America high school football team.
The 6-foot-2, 315-pound Udofia was one of 18 linemen named to the 58-player team. It marks the third straight year a player from Arizona has been on the team. Last year, Desert Vista tight end Zach Miller was selected. Two years ago, it was Tolleson running back Marcus Thomas.
"It’s definitely a great honor," said Udofia. "So many great players have been on it before, it means a lot. Hopefully, I can go on and accomplish some of the things they have."
Udofia didn’t accomplish what he wanted to in his senior season — win the 4A state title — because his injury on the first play of the eighth game of the season was the demise of the Firebirds.
The injury also made Udofia wonder if he’d receive any postseason honors.
"A lot of scouting (services) after my injury dropped me on their lists," said Udofia, who got his walking boot off last week and says he is ahead of schedule on his recovery.
As for what college Udofia plans to attend, he said he will make that announcement on ESPN Feb. 2, the day before national signing day.
"It’s been real difficult. The process was fun, but now it’s coming down to the decision," said Udofia. "I think I will make the right one."
Udofia said he has narrowed his decision to Stanford (where his older brother, Udeme, is a lineman), Southern California, Miami and Arizona.
"They have been by far recruiting the hardest," Udofia said of Arizona’s coaches.