Chibuikem Okoro Leads Deacon Defense in Third Preseason Practice
Aug. 8, 2012
by Steve Shutt, Wake Forest Athletic Media Relations
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Name changes in sports are not that uncommon. The Florida Marlins outfielder known as Mike Stanton in 2011 requested that people use his given first name of Giancarlo in 2012. Thus, the Wake Forest cornerback known as Kenny Okoro for the last four years will go by his given name of Chibuikem Okoro in 2012.
"My parents are descendants from Nigeria," said Okoro. "The name is pronounced `CHIBY-kem.' It means `God is my strength.' As a child, I shied away from using it. But over the past couple months, I've re-dedicated myself and gotten more in touch with my religious side. Having a name that means `God is my strength,' I don't know why I wouldn't want to be called that."
As a fifth-year senior, the 6-1, 195-pound Okoro is the most experienced Wake Forest defender, having earned 29 career starts, the most on the team. With 115 career tackles, Okoro is second only to Joey Ehrmann (121 career tackles) on the Demon Deacon defense in career stops.
In 2012, Okoro started all 13 games at corner and ranked second on the team with nine pass breakups. He put the finishing touch on Wake Forest's 24-23 win at Duke last fall by intercepting Sean Renfree on the final play of the game. As a sophomore in 2010, Okoro led the team with five pass breakups and returned a blocked PAT for two points against Presbyterian, the first defensive two-point conversion in school history. As a redshirt freshman in 2009, Okoro was named to the ACC All-Freshman team by the Sporting News and was a second team Freshman All-America. He intercepted Stanford's Andrew Luck in the first quarter of Wake Forest's 24-17 win over the Cardinal at BB&T Field.
The Greensboro Dudley High School grad was the All-Area Player of the Year as a senior.
Okoro and the Demon Deacons went through their third practice of the season on Wednesday night at the Doc Martin Football Practice Complex. The two-hour practice featured several offense vs. defense segments as the team moved from jerseys and helmets to adding shoulder pads. The Deacons will practice in shells again on Thursday night before donning full pads for the first time on Friday.
Thursday's practice session at the Doc Martin Complex is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. The Deacons will practice at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night.