“I felt like I was doubted and underrated. I thought I deserved to be in the top ten. It was a little bit expected knowing I only played three and a half games due to breaking my collar bone. But after a great summer, I felt that I got what I deserved, which were my offers.” – Chiddi Obiazor, Eden Prairie HS
From uncommitted to Power 5 commit
Through dedication and hard work, Chiddi and Namdi Obiazor will play college football.
by Malik Mitchell
Chiddi Obiazor is a 6’6, 220-pound edge from Eden Prairie. He recently committed to Kansas State on July 30. Obiazor is also a highly ranked basketball player in Minnesota. With a recruit committing to a Power 5 school, you would think they’d be pretty high on a couple of rankings lists right? Wrong. Obiazor didn’t even make the top 2023 Minnesota football recruiting list on 24/7 sports or MaxPreps.
“I felt like I was doubted and underrated. I thought I deserved to be in the top ten,” said Obiazor. “It was a little bit expected knowing I only played three and a half games due to breaking my collar bone. But after a great summer, I felt that I got what I deserved, which were my offers.”
Obiazor is quick, has an eye for the ball, and is swift with great pass-rushing abilities. He benches 285, squats 425, and cleans 275. Last season, he helped lead the Eagles to the Class 6A Semifinals playing both tight end and defensive edge. However, before the season, he took the initiative to make defensive end his primary position.
“Midwest football tends not to throw the ball a lot and Eden Prairie is a run-heavy school,” said Obiazor. “I thought it’d be best for me to play defensive end where I can make plays rather than play tight end and make a few plays a game.”
He held other Division 1 offers from Ohio University, Tulane University, University Incarnate Word, and Akron University.
“I was getting recruited for both defensive end and tight end. After my first couple of games my recruiting picked up heavily,” said Obiazor. “After I broke my collar bone in game three, it slowed down a bit. In the summer once the camp season started, I was traveling around to a couple of camps and talked to some coaches. Once they saw my frame and my ability, my recruiting picked up again.”
The Gophers were also recruiting the edge rusher. They invited him to the annual “Summer Splash” gophers camp on June 6 to display his talents. The Gophers offered several players after the camp, but unfortunately, Obiazor wasn’t one of them.
Chiddi has not only proved himself on the gridiron but has also shown that he is a star on the court. Last season he played forward, helping the Eagles make the Class AAAA state boy’s basketball tournament. He was awarded All-Conference First Team. Obiazor scored double digits in 29 of 30 games last season and averaged 18.5 points per game. He scored 20 or more points in 14 games with a season-high of 29 points versus Minnetonka. As a sophomore, Obiazor averaged 16.1 points per game scoring in double digits in 17 of 19 games. He accomplished his career high of 33 points against Prior Lake. With Obiazor putting up these types of numbers, what made him pick the field over the court at the next level?
“I thought for my frame and body size that football would be the best bet for me. Ultimately, I just fell in love with football more than basketball,” said Obiazor.
Chiddi is not the only stud in his family. Talent is no secret when it comes to the Obiazors with his older sister Nneka playing Division 1 basketball at UNLV and his older brother, Namdi, playing Division 1 football at TCU.
“My brother and I had a trainer who pushed us every summer. We would have to wake up at five in the morning every day,” said Chiddi. “There were times when I didn’t want to go and my brother would push me and make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. My brother was one of the main reasons who pushed me to do my best and work hard, it really helped me to get where I am today.”
His brother Namdi is also not a stranger to being underlooked. The Eden Prairie alum received Division 2 looks but ultimately no scholarship offers out of high school.
“Everybody in high school has Division 1 dreams. You know what you wanted and what your goal was,” said Namdi. “Not getting that attention made me want to work harder just to show the people that stopped me and the ones who didn’t think I was capable of doing things.”
After high school, he decided to take the JUCO (junior college) route playing at Iowa Western Community College. He played cornerback and safety at 6’3 and 210 pounds. He worked his way to becoming a First-Team 2021 NJCAA All-American. He recorded 20 tackles, two pass breakups, totaled 31 stops, an interception, and four PBUs over his two seasons at Iowa Western. Before committing to TCU he had earned offers from FIU, Ohio University, Akron, Western Illinois, and Youngstown State.
“Being in JUCO really tests how much you love the game of football and how bad you really want it,” said Namdi. “You’re in the middle of nowhere and there isn’t anything to do besides football, school, and sleep (said laughing). “It just really tests you. You aren’t doing what a normal college student would be, but that’s how you get closer to the people on your team because we all have the same goal of getting out.”
Even though Chiddi and Namdi had different journeys to accomplish their goals, their work ethic was groomed to become identical.
“He and I had different routes to get to where we are but he’s always been working. He just got it sooner than mine,” said Namdi. “Ever since we were young, everything I would do as far as working out, he would also do. He would follow in my footsteps to try to match and keep up. I’d want to be playing with him but at the same time playing against your brother at a Power 5 level in the same conference, not too many people can say that.”
Chiddi began his season with the Eagles on Sept. 1 against East Ridge High School at 7 pm. Namdi began his first season with the Horned Frogs on Sept. 2 against The University of Colorado Boulder. After the football season, Chiddi plans to graduate early and begin his new chapter in Kansas. The two brothers will soon be competing in the Big 12 conference together and continue what they started.