ASU's recruiting coordinator Matt Lubick offered a scholarship to Osahon Irabor just a month after his junior season ended.
"It's always been a dream of mine to go there and I was really waiting for that offer," Irabor acknowledged. "A week after ASU offered me coach Lubick came to my school and we hit it off right away. I always liked ASU as it was and seeing how one of their coaches was so cool was a big plus for me."
Irabor came to Tempe for an unofficial visit in June, and naturally felt very comfortable on that trip.
"When I visited Arizona State I knew it was one of the best opportunities for me," Irabor said. "It's a beautiful campus with great facilities, and it's a great environment to live in."
Ironically the Sun Devils' offer followed an offer by the University of Arizona which was the first program to extend the cornerback an offer. "I thought it was kind of cool that two rival schools were the first ones to offer me," Irabor remarked. "I liked how both of them were competing for me."
Most of the Pac-10 ultimately followed with offers of their own, and schools such as Nebraska and Fresno State were some other programs that pursued the Upland HS standout. His last offer before his Sun Devil pledge was UCLA. The corner was ready to commit earlier in the week to ASU, but when the Bruins came calling it delayed his decision by a few days.
"Out of respect to their program and every other program that offered me, I took time to consider their offer," Irabor explained. "So I went down and checked out the school, talked to the coaches. They already had two corners committed there before they offered me and I couldn't see myself going there.
"I was the first corner ASU offered and they told me I was their first choice. It is nice when you get that type of commitment form a school and they don't treat you just like another prospect"
It wasn't only a favorable depth chart that attracted Irabor to Tempe; it was also the style of play employed by the Sun Devil secondary. "I really like their zone coverages," Irabor noted." It's similar to what we ran in high school and that's a style I excel at because it suits my skills.
"My strongest skill is understanding the mental side of the game. Knowing what to do in down and distance. I do need to work more on my technique."
Irabor was rated as the No. 35 cornerback prospect in the nation and the No. 4 cornerback in the West region by Scout.com. He earned First-Team All-CIF, First-Team All-San Bernardino County and First-Team All-League honors for Upland.
As a senior he totaled 42 tackles and also finished second on the team in rushing with 228 yards on only 23 carries (9.9 avg.) with two rushing touchdowns. Furthermore, he also finished second with 637 receiving yards averaging 21.1 yards-per-reception.
The incoming freshman was clocked running a 4.37-second 40-yard dash and has a 38-inch vertical leap. The 5-11 corner lost weight, but also gained muscle in the process and currently comes in at 176 lbs. As a senior he squatted 455 pounds and power cleaned 235.
When Irabor came on his official visit in the fall, he couldn't help but sense the warm welcome the incumbent players extended to him and other recruits visiting that weekend. That strong sense of camaraderie is a notion that he still experiences these days as he joined the team in early July.
"We have a great group of guys," Irabor said. "I'm still adapting to everything, trying to get into a rhythm with the workouts, trying to find my niche. But everything is going well, so I'm not worried. I feel like I'm prepared.
"The older guys at corner like Bolden, T-Carr are helping me and the younger guys out so that's cool. Working out in the bubble feels like playing in the NFL. It's a beautiful facility and you're able to get a lot done when you're in there."
The ASU coaches have previously mentioned that Irabor is one freshman who stands a good chance not to redshirt. The corner has the same mindset going into the 2009 campaign.
"Coaches told me that I have the athleticism," Irabor stated, "but I just have to shore up the mental part and I'll be fine. I don't plan on redshirting. That doesn't even enter my mind."
Introducing Osahon Irabor
Upland, Calif. (Upland HS)
Date of birth
Favorite TV show
"The Dark Knight"
"Kiwi Strawberry Arizona's Ice Tea"
Favorite pro team
"Los Angeles Lakers"
Person you most admire
"Kobe Bryant because of his work ethic. It's not somebody that I know personally. but when I watch him he drives me to be the best I can be. He's the most talented player on the planet, but he also works harder than everyone else. That's how you become great."
First football memory
"I was playing free safety when I was a freshman. The wide receiver I was covering ran a five and out. The quarterback threw high so I had a free shot at the wide receiver and I blasted him. The crowd was going nuts."
One thing most people don't know about me
"I like to listen to heavy metal, bands like August Burns Red."
Why did you choose ASU?
"It was just the best place for me to experience a college lifestyle."
Where do you want to be in ten years?
"Playing in the National Football league and branching out and be an entrepreneur and open small businesses."