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New York City doesn't have a Football Bowl Subdivision/Division I-A program to call its own, but through the years thousands of college football fans in the Big Apple have adopted Penn State as their team. A steady stream of gridiron standouts from New York City, Long Island and northern New Jersey have made their way to Happy Valley. And, of course, Joe Paterno is one of their own, having been born and raised in Brooklyn. This year, there are four Nittany Lions from the New York side of the metropolitan area, including Staten Island's Ollie Ogbu. He has played a prominent role for the Nittany Lions' Top 10 defense the past two years and again will be counted on for significant contributions as a fifth-year senior. A strong, quick and highly-skilled athlete, Ogbu has started 22 games over the past two seasons. He brings a great attitude and enthusiasm to the field and takes a fierce pride in the Nittany Lions continuing to rank among the nation's most difficult teams to run the ball against. Penn State has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in the last 16 games, the nation's third-longest streak. The Nittany Lions held eight opponents to less than 100 rushing yards last season and ranked No. 6 in the nation in rushing defense at a measly 89.8 yards per game. The former Milford Academy All-American is an intense competitor with a relentless attitude and motor and the ability to make big plays. The hard-working and tough Ogbu goes about his business and quietly put together a highly productive campaign last season, recording eight minus-yardage hits among his 30 tackles. He is on schedule to graduate in December. Ogbu is among seven Nittany Lion returnees from the Empire State.
An honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection, Ogbu started every game and helped Penn State remain among the nation's Top 10 defenses for a sixth consecutive season. Ogbu made 30 tackles, with 8.0 tackles for loss (minus-19 yards), two sacks and a team-high three forced fumbles. He ranked sixth in TFL on a team that led the Big Ten and was sixth in the nation in minus-yardage plays (8.08 per game). Ogbu was instrumental in helping the Nittany Lions hold eight opponents to less than 100 rushing yards and ranking No. 6 in the nation in rushing defense at 89.8 yards per game. He recorded a career-high six tackles in the season-opening 31-7 win over Akron, including 2.5 TFL. He helped hold the Zips to eight first downs (none in the first half), 28 rushing yards and 186 total yards. Ogbu made three tackles against Temple and forced a fumble that was recovered by Drew Astorino at the Owls' 23 and led to a field goal. He made two tackles in the 52-3 victory over Eastern Illinois. Ogbu recorded a sack, 1.5 TFL and a forced fumble that Navorro Bowman returned 91 yards for a touchdown in the Eastern Illinois game, the longest fumble return in program history. The relentless Ogbu had three stops in the 20-0 blanking of Minnesota, including a minus-yardage play. He had a big game in the 34-13 win at Northwestern, recording four tackles and a sack, as the Lions held the Wildcats to less than half their season scoring average. In the 42-14 victory at Michigan State, Ogbu made two tackles, including one for a loss. He helped the Nittany Lions hold the Spartans 17 points below their scoring average and to just 94 yards rushing. Ogbu recorded two tackles and forced a fumble in the big win over LSU in the Capital One Bowl. Ogbu saw action on 423 snaps, led by 43 against Iowa.
2008 Junior Season
Ogbu played in every game for the second consecutive year, helping Penn State rank No. 8 in the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 93.2 yards per game. A starter in nine contests, Ogbu recorded 17 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for losses, with two sacks. He made three stops each against Syracuse and Temple. In the Big Ten opener with Illinois, Ogbu made two hits, with 0.5 TFL. He recorded his first sack of the season in the 48-7 win at Wisconsin, good for a loss of six yards, and posted two tackles in the victory over Indiana. Ogbu made two stops in the 49-18 win over Michigan State, including a first-quarter sack on third down, to help the Nittany Lions gain momentum in their Big Ten title-clinching win. He saw action on 369 snaps, led by 43 against Oregon State.
2007 Sophomore Season
Playing in every game, with four starts, Ogbu was fourth on the squad with 10.0 TFL for minus-29 yards. Only All-Big Ten honorees Maurice Evans, Dan Connor and Sean Lee delivered more minus-yardage plays than Ogbu. For the season, he made 18 tackles, with 10.0 TFL, one sack and one forced fumble. He was named to The Sporting News Freshman All-Big Ten team. He recorded two tackles, one for a loss, and forced a fumble against Florida International in his Nittany Lion debut. Ogbu recorded a season-high 3.0 TFL at Michigan among his season-best four tackles (three solo). He also had 2.5 TFL, with a sack, among his four stops in the win over Buffalo and added single minus-yardage hits against Wisconsin and Ohio State. Ogbu started the regular-season finale at Michigan State and recorded three tackles. He made one minus-yardage hit in the 24-17 victory over Texas A&M in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Ogbu was on the field for 390 plays, led by 50 in the win over the Aggies and 47 snaps at Michigan.
2006 Freshman Season
Ogbu was named a PrepStar Magazine All-American at Milford Academy, playing for Coach William Chaplick.
Full name is Olong O. Ogbu. He is majoring in sociology. Born May 18, 1987.
Ogbu's 2008 Game-by-Game
Tackles (Total-Solo-Assists) Coastal Carolina 1-0-1; Oregon State 0-0-0; Syracuse 3-2-1; Temple 3-2-1; Illinois 2-1-1; Purdue 0-0-0; Wisconsin 1-1-0; Michigan 1-0-1; Ohio State 1-0-1; Iowa 0-0-0; Indiana 2-0-2; Michigan State 2-2-0; USC 1-1-0.
Ogbu's 2007 Game-by-Game
Tackles (Total-Solo-Assists) Florida International 2-1-1; Notre Dame 0-0-0; Buffalo 4-1-3; Michigan 4-3-1; Illinois 0-0-0; Iowa 1-0-1; Wisconsin 1-1-0; Indiana 0-0-0; Ohio State 2-1-1; Purdue 0-0-0; Temple 0-0-0; Michigan State 3-1-2; Texas A&M 1-1-0.