Football star tackles computer science

Friday, December 16, 2016

Much of Niner Nation knows UNC Charlotte senior Larry Ogunjobi from his impressive career as a defensive lineman for the Charlotte 49ers football team – as they should. He’s the only active player to start all 46 games in the program’s history, and he’s the program’s leader in tackles (212), tackles for loss (49) and sacks with 13. To summarize Ogunjobi’s career at UNC Charlotte by the work he’s accomplished in Jerry Richardson Stadium captures only half the story. For as great as Ogunjobi was on the football field, his academic prowess was equally noteworthy. Which is saying a lot, since he could become the first player in program history selected in the NFL draft.

A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Ogunjobi is driven by his constant desire to excel.

“For me, I always want to be the best, so I asked myself why I couldn’t be really good in the classroom and really good on the football field,” he said. “I never wanted to put myself in a box, so as a student-athlete, I focused on being the best student and athlete I could be.”

Ogunjobi chose to tackle the challenging discipline of computer science. His classroom demeanor is radically different from his approach to sacking quarterbacks on the field.

“Most of our computer science professors know Larry as a gentle giant,” said Bojan Cukic, professor and chair in the Department of Computer Science. “His role on the football field stands in sharp contrast with his classroom demeanor: quiet and unassuming.”

For Ogunjobi, that sharp contrast is what makes him unique. It’s what makes him who he is – a college graduate with two degrees with a passion for football. A passion he hopes might land him in the NFL, but if not, Ogunjobi will be just fine. He says he’ll tackle medical school next.