The 49ers High School Player of the Week Award for week 2 goes to Chidobe Awuzie of Oak Grove High School in San Jose.
Oak Grove senior, Chidobe Awuzie, is viewed by his peers and coaches as a leader on and off the field—symbolizing the epitome of RESPECT. "He is constantly motivating, and is very vocal in a positive way. He respects the game, is working harder than ever, and overall puts a great face to our team," said varsity coach Jay Braun of his much anticipated captain.
Chidobe Awuzie showed his leadership and athleticism on the field 2 weeks ago, as he and the Oak Grove Eagles defeated the St. Francis Lancers 21-20. St. Francis knocked Oak Grove out of the playoffs last season, and has been one of the toughest opponents for the Eagles over the last several years. Though the Eagles went into the half losing by 7, they had emotionally invested in this game all off-season, and were not willing to leave with a loss. Awuzie, as versatile as they come, made key plays on both offense and defense playing cornerback, running back, quarterback, and wide receiver. He rushed 94 yards, took advantage of one play as quarterback, throwing a 38 yard completion, and had 3 tackles in the game. However, when asked about his performance, Awuzie immediately turned the spotlight on to his long-time friend and teammate, Nick Bernardo, who rushed 119 yards as running back, and had 4 tackles at linebacker.
It was a team effort all 4 quarters, though in the final minutes of the game, Chidobe Awuzie teamed up on the line to deflect a Lancer PAT-attempt—preventing St. Francis from sending the game into overtime. When asked about the emotional victory, Awuzie stated, "After the game, I walked up to my brother and told him that win was for him. I play for my family. I play for my friends. I play for my teammates, and everyone out there watching."
The stellar athlete is also an honor student and role model around the school, as he is always setting examples on and off the field, and motivating peers to do the right thing. "He is contagious," said Braun, "He is respected on all sides of the ball, sets an example academically and never has any issues. He really represents us well, and he is hungry to be that guy."
When it comes to his future, Chidobe Awuzie wants to graduate with a 3.0, and go to a college with an aggressive team, where he can continue to learn the game and grow faster and more competitive. Meanwhile, he plans to practice harder than ever with his teammates who have become part of his family over the last 9 years, and of course, bring the CCS Championship title to Oak Grove.
As the home school of 49ers High School Player of the Week, Oak Grove High School will receive a $500 grant for their football program. Awuzie will receive a 49ers hat and t-shirt, a certificate signed by 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh, two tickets to a 49ers home game and recognition on 49ers.com. At the end of the season, Chidobe will be invited to the 49ers Training Facility in Santa Clara, CA to accept a trophy recognizing his achievements.