Athens, Ga.--When you start running down the list of top athletes in the 2018 class it’s hard to find many who top 6-4, 206 Richard Jibunor out of Athens Christian School.
Capable of playing linebacker, rushing the passer as a buck linebacker, safety and even tight end, Jibunor was back on the Plains on Saturday to visit with the Auburn Tigers and left feeling very good about things with Coach Gus Malzahn’s program.
“It went awesome,” Jibunor said. “I liked what I saw. The players were competing and that’s why I came for the first day of practice (in pads). That’s the kind of thing they had going on last season and I just wanted to see how the players were coming back this season.
“It was awesome," he said. "There was so much emotion going on during practice and the players were playing as if they were already in a game. It shows the players are really ready for a new season and that shows they have been preparing.
“I was really proud talking to the coaches," prospect pointed out. "I liked everything they told me. I saw it with my eyes and I believe it. I really liked it. It was awesome.”
A player who visited Auburn for a junior camp over the summer, Jibunor did enough to earn an offer from the Tigers last July. Since that time he has gotten close with Coach Travis Williams and the rest of the staff, something that has him really liking life on the Plains.
“There’s something about Auburn I just like,” Jibunor said. “My relationship with the coaches has been great. Ever since the last time I came for camp they talk to me like every week a couple of times. We talk a lot. They check on me and there was a time they visited me at school. They just make sure I’m doing great. It’s wonderful. I like it.”
Richard Jibunor is shown at a summer camp.
With the athleticism to be a difference-maker at linebacker, Williams has made Jibunor one of his main targets early in the 2018 class. While being wanted for his football skills is one thing, the versatile Jibunor said the way the Auburn assistant deals with recruiting is the most important thing to him.
“The most wonderful thing about Coach T-Will is that he’s really interested in you as a human being, not just as a football player. Every coach wants to win. He looks for the talent, too, but he’s really like a big brother to every athlete he talks to and really wants.
“He’s a good example of what a coach should be like. Not just being a coach of an athlete, but as someone who really wants the best for you.”
Planning to make a decision before his senior season, Jibunor said at the moment he is looking at Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and several others but knows the Tigers are a team that will be in the mix.
“I don’t really have them in order, but Auburn is a really good school I like,” Jibunor said. “I have a great relationship with the head coach and different coaches and most of the players, too.”