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Boston College Player Preview '22: DE Neto Okpala

Boston College's defensive line needs to step up in '22, could the Georgia sophomore be in line for a bigger role?

Boston College's defensive line got a big boost last year with the addition of '21 recruit Neto Okpala. The Loganville (GA) graduate came to the Heights after not only excelling on the gridiron, totaling 88 tackles, 13 sacks, five fumble recoveries, three pass breakups and a touchdown as a senior in 2020, but also on the track as well. The speedster ran the 100m, 200m and 4x100m in high school. For a team built with an emphasis on speed, Okpala seems like a perfect fit. 

It was a relatively quiet first year on campus for the 6-1 240 pounder. He finished the year with only a pair of tackles, but had a big play against Clemson, blocking a punt and potentially turning the momentum against the Tigers. 

Height: 6-1

Weight: 240

High School: Loganville

Hometown: Loganville

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Recruiting Roundup: Ranked as a three-star prospect by 247 Sports, ESPN and Rivals … identified as the No. 85 ranked player in Georgia and the No. 58 weakside defensive end in the nation by 247 Sports. Offers from Vanderbilt, Coastal Carolina, Liberty and multiple FCS and G5 schools. 

2021 Stats: 2 solo tackles, 4 total tackles

Depth Chart Overview: Okpala could be primed for a bigger role for the Eagles in 2022. Marcus Valdez is most certainly going to be the starting defensive end on one side, and the other looks to be Shitta Sillah. The backups on two deep will most likely be Donovan Ezeiraku and Okpala. With BC in dire need for a pass rushing spark on the defensive line, a player like Okpala certainly could earn his way into either more snaps, or if he plays well enough starts as the season progresses. His speed, and agility could make him a real pass rushing threat if he develops in Jeff Hafley's defense. 

Previous Previews:
CJ Burton
Zay Flowers
Jaelen Gill
Jason Maitre
Bryce Steele
Jaden Williams

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