Ohio State WR Emeka Egbuka admits to being the Buckeyes Steve Urkel
Ohio State landed the No. 1 receiver in the 247Sports composite recruiting rankings for 2021 when they signed Emeka Egbuka. And it did not take him long to impress.
He enrolled at OSU in January and in April, caught seven passes for 123 yards in the spring game.
He made his official college debut during a Sept. 11 game against Oregon, returning two kickoffs for a total of 56 yards.
Weeks later against Maryland, he returned four kicks for 166 yards, the second-most kickoff return yardage ever by an Ohio State player, trailing only running back Carlos Snow, who had 213 in a loss at Pittsburgh in 1988.
Based on his nine returns for 317 yards (a remarkable 35.2-yard average), it's not hard to believe he could be the first Ohio State player to take one all the way back since Jordan Hall did so against Michigan in 2010. Egbuka's current long is a 67-yarder against Maryland. And as a receiver he has six receptions for 145 yards.
There's much more to the freshman than his electric talents as a football player, however.
Learn more about Emeka Egbuka with this Columbus Dispatch Q&A.
Meet Ohio State football wide receiver Emeka Egbuka
Top five holidays. Go.
Number one definitely has to be Christmas. I'll put Christmas up there.
It would have been a huge upset if anything else had come in first.
Number two? I like Fourth of July. Got to see the fireworks and stuff like that. Three is Thanksgiving. I'll go number four with New Year's. And five, because I was born in October, would have to be Halloween.
Is Ryan Day the kind of coach who calls attention to the fact that someone has a birthday?
Yeah. If it's someone's birthday, we'll always shout them out in the team meeting and stuff like that.
Now you mentioned Halloween. What was the best costume you ever wore?
I don't know what grade I was in, but I was Urkel one time for Halloween and it was a pretty good costume.
What, besides dressing as Urkel, is the most creative thing you did to try to double up on your candy?
I don't know if it was creative. I would just steal if from my brother.
How old is your brother?
My brother is 10 now. He didn't need all the candy anyways.
So literally stealing candy from a baby. What's his name?
Is he your only sibling?
I have a younger sister. She's the youngest, and then Keanan is in the middle. He's kind of a problem child a little bit.
So he makes you look good?
That and also he looks up to me a lot, and just being able to be someone he can model after. And he plays sports like me. He plays every sport growing up, kind of like I did. So being able to coach him, and stuff like that. I actually had the opportunity to coach him on his flag football team. I was an assistant coach. So that was really fun growing up. But he's, at his core, he's a really sweet kid. Really nice kid with a really big heart, and that's the thing I love about him.
And your sister?
My sister, her name is Eva. She turned 8 in August — August 31. And she is the most competitive person I know. She's way more competitive than I am, and I think of myself as one of the most competitive people ever. My sister, she's a gymnast, and her practices are like four hours long. And whenever she doesn't do a stunt right, she comes home, she's visibly upset. Like, you can tell. And she'll practice it for hours in our living room just trying to perfect it. You know, she's a big perfectionist. That kind of runs in the family a little bit, but she definitely got the most out of that.
What is the most important part of being an older brother?
The most important thing that I have to model for them is, I would say, just living Christlike. Just setting that example. You can just be a light in other people's life, and they see that, and they can take after that.
What about your parents?
I would say my favorite part about my mom is that she's a very happy person. She's always smiling, so it's hard to be sad or angry around her. So being the light for my older siblings? I definitely learned that from her. My dad, my favorite thing about him is, I don't know, it's kind of amazing how smart he is because my dad is honestly one of the smartest people I know. Not only is he an engineer, but if I ask him on my math homework about a concept he learned 20 years ago, he can just pull it out of the back of his brain and just help me with it. But not only with math, just helping me with my perspective on life and how to handle different situations. He's always someone to go through if you want really good advice.
What's your mom do?
My mom is an IT manager.
Is that why you're so smart? Because I hear you're really good in the classroom. What would happen if you brought home a B?
Oh, I haven't done that! My Dad would be pretty upset with me. My mom is kind of more lenient when it comes to my grades, but she herself, she was valedictorian in high school. And my dad obviously, he cares a lot about my grades, so I definitely have to stay on top of it with everything.
You talked about playing different sports growing up. If you weren't a football player what sport would you be playing?
Definitely baseball. I still consider myself a baseball player now even though I haven't picked up the bat in a little bit. But it was something I was considering going into college with the top schools I was talking to before I committed here. They all gave me the opportunity to play baseball in college. So it was something I was seriously looking into. Something that I might continue to look into, but with the schedule and everything, I just have to see how hard that would be for me to do.
Where's someplace you really want to go, but haven't been able to visit yet?
I always see pictures of Japan, and it looks really nice. I've been to a lot of places in the world because my dad growing up from when I was 6 to when I was 12, he lived in Germany. So for the summers, I would basically move over there for the summers, stay there for like two months, and we would travel to a lot of different places. But Japan is one place that I haven't been.
Sprechen sie ein bisschen Deutsch?
I used to speak a little bit of German when I lived there, but I haven't done it so long, I've kind of lost it.
So where's your favorite of all the places you've visited?
I guess my favorite, and I'm kind of biased because I was there on New Year's, but it was Berlin, and the city was just — all the fireworks and stuff like that, it was incredible.
And your fourth favorite holiday.
What's the most fun you've ever had? Was it that trip to Berlin on New Year's?
I would say the most fun I've ever had, it would be hard to pick out one specific trip because I've been there so many times, but my freshman year of high school, my best friend moved to Idaho. Well, I guess I have two best friends. We're like triplets, and then one of them moved to Idaho. So me and my other best friend would go visit him from time to time. I've been to Idaho probably six times, and every trip is just a blast.
I'm just going to repeat what you said: "Every trip to Idaho has been a blast."
Yes, it has. When you have that type of chemistry with your two best friends, you can be any place and it would be really fun, but there are a lot of hidden gems in Idaho, like nature and stuff like that. We would go there in the winter and drive up an hour up to Idaho City and find places to snowboard and sled and stuff like that. We would go on late night drives and just explore things, and it would be really fun.
That's kind of how I grew up just trying to experience as many things as I can. Just trying to do as many new things because you never know what's going to be your favorite hobby.