Thrust into big role, Olugbode blossoms with CCSF football

Eric Sun/Special to the S.F. ExaminerSetting the tone: CCSF’s Kris Olugbode has run for

Kristoffer Olugbode ran for 1,215 yards and scored 18 touchdowns during his senior year at Bellarmine Prep in San Jose. But at 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, he was considered too small to play NCAA football. It didn’t puncture his resolve, though, and now he’s tearing up the gridiron at City College of San Francisco.

The Rams (9-1) will be competing for their third straight Northern California title Saturday against American River College at Rams Stadium thanks, in part, to the conference-leading 1,493 rushing yards they received from Olugbode.

“If I had 22 Kris Olugbode’s on my team I’d never lose a game,” coach George Rush said.

Olugbode was raised in a football family. His older brother, Kyle, is a safety at Stanford and his younger brother, Ken, will play linebacker at San Jose State next year.

But Kris Olugbode didn’t receive any offers in high school, so a family friend recommended that he contact Rush at CCSF.

“I didn’t know much about him, he sent me his highlight tape,” Rush said. “I was impressed with his toughness, his resilience and how hard he played.”

The Rams had a loaded backfield last year with DeShae Edwards and Robert Burton III, so Olugbode received only 13 carries over the course of  the season.

“I just waited for my turn,” Olugbode said. “I knew I’d have the opportunity to possibly be a starter this year if I worked hard.”

Olugbode spent his summer in the gym improving his strength and agility. When summer camp kicked up, he was always early to practice.

“The quality of his character — he’s just a great human being,” Rush said.

In his first start, Olugbode ran for 85 yards on 17 carries in a 48-41 Rams win over Diablo Valley College. He picked up 176 yards a week later, and after three games he was leading the NorCal Conference with 399 rushing yards.

The highlights of Olugbode’s season were rushing for a school-record 310 yards against Santa Rosa two weeks ago and scoring five touchdowns against American River on Sept. 29.

“I never imagined I could do something like that — run for 300 yards,” Olugbode said. “But my offensive line made my job easy.”

Olugbode finished the regular season averaging 149.3 yards per game and 6.6 yards per carry. He also led the conference with 18 rushing touchdowns.

Despite his breakout year, Olugbode has yet to receive an offer from an NCAA school. But Rush said he would have no problem transitioning to a conference like the Pac-12.

“Cal should be over here on all fours trying to get him,” he said.

But Olugbode said his only concern right now is winning his second straight state championship.

“I just want to win,” he said. “All the other stuff will fall in place.”

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