MIDLOTHIAN – A lot of schools wanted Eric Agbaroji’s services. Boise State got them.
Why, you might ask? For the Midlothian senior defensive back it came down to one simple word – loyalty.
After battling through an injury plagued junior season, Agbaroji saw the interest from other schools in the country fade back. Many of the top Football Bowl Subdivision teams that were once interested in him were now waiting until his senior season to see how he recovered. The Broncos didn’t hesitate and neither did Agbaroji.
Last week, he made his verbal commitment permanent by signing with Boise State during the school’s signing day festivities.
“I guess it was the whole injury thing last year. All the other schools were waiting to see what I’d do my senior year but they (Boise) felt confident with what they knew I could do, what they’d already saw. It’s the whole loyalty type thing,” Agbaroji said.
Rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Agbaroji had to sign his national letter of intent from home last week after MISD was forced to close due to inclement weather. On Monday, the senior joined five fellow classmates as the school held a ceremony to honor those signings and broadcast them to the school over the facility’s closed circuit television.
Call it a needed formality. Just like Agbaroji’s signing.
When he committed to the Broncos just before the start of the 2010 season, Agbaroji said he would remain true to his word. Other schools might have tried but none could get the three-year varsity player to waiver.
Over his three seasons on varsity, Agbaroji earned second team all-district (sophomore), honorable mention all-district (junior) and first team all-district (senior). This season he was named to the TheOldCoach.com’s all-area first team and the all-state second team while recording 30 tackles, 12 pass break-ups, three blocked field goals and an interception. He finished his career with 110 tackles and three interceptions to go along with more than 30 pass break-ups.
First-year coach Lee Wiginton called Agbaroji’s Division I scholarship status “well-deserved” because of his hard work ethic. When Wiginton arrived, the rising senior was determined to put the memory of a frustrating junior year behind him. Wiginton expected him to play well, he just wasn’t sure how well. Even Wiginton admits the 2010 season was more than he expected.
“I think he exceeded my expectations for sure. I think he’s one of those players he hasn’t been playing the game very long, he’s going to do nothing but continue getting better and better and better and I think he’s a great steal for Boise State to be honest with you,” Wiginton said.
Agbaroji is headed to Boise with the intent of battling for a spot at either corner or safety. His 6-foot-1 frame gives him a chance to play either. The Broncos do lose some talent at both spots, meaning Agbaroji could find some playing time if he’s not redshirted. Boise signed 19 players in this class, 11 of which were three-star recruits.
Whatever coach Chris Petersen and his staff ask him to do will be fine according to Agbaroji. His main focus is helping the team continue its rise to national prominence. Boise was a few plays away from being a BCS buster for the third time in four seasons. Agbaroji hopes to be a player that puts the Broncos back on that path.
“They get looked over by the BCS but it’s a great program. It’s a winning program. We’re going to make a lot of noise next year,” Agbaroji said.
Contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 469-517-1456.