A Visit With Ike Iloegbu

He won't officially become a Bearcat until early February, but that hasn't stopped Ike Iloegbu from frequenting the Cincinnati campus.

On May 30, Ike Iloegbu of Harmony Community School made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Cincinnati, and the young man from New York has been unofficially visiting the campus ever since.  Ike attended the Cincinnati senior camp on June 10 and returned for another underclassman camp this week.  He explained his frequent visits.  "I just love the facilities and all the coaches.  I learned some new stuff yesterday.  I come down just to watch and learn."


The 6' 2"/195 pounder will have a lot to learn since he's switching positions this season.  Iloegbu had always played quarterback, but in 2007, he will play cornerback at Harmony and eventually at Cincinnati.  "I've picked up a lot of pointers from Coach Coombs.  I thought switching from quarterback to cornerback would be hard, but I think it will be easier than I thought.  I was able to get a scholarship from Cincinnati pretty quick so I think I'm doing pretty well at it."  Keep in mind that Ike has yet to play a game at cornerback.


Ike begrudgely admits there may be some tough times ahead in making the transition from offensive signal caller to defensive cover man, but no one can question his confidence.  "I'm prepared for any adversity because I'm going to work hard and know what I'm doing.  I just have to study my plays and be confident in what I'm doing."


Harmony is an area prep school that draws its players from virtually anywhere in the country.  Ike talked about his new roster.  "We have about 45 or 50 people, but there are about 10 or 20 more guys coming to school."


Although Cincinnati has apparently recruited Ike as a cornerback, the Bearcat staff will likely get the chance to see Iloegbu at a variety of positions in 2007.  "I think I'll play both defense and offense because they have me at option quarterback, cornerback, quarterback and slot receiver."  According to Ike, Harmony will play about 12 games against other prep schools.


Moving from his home in New York to Harmony this spring was not easy.  "It was difficult for the first 2 weeks trying to get comfortable in my situation, but after that, I've been cruising along."  Ike lives in an apartment near the Cincinnati campus with several other Harmony athletes, and all seem to share one common goal.  "I have four other roommates, and they're all trying to get a scholarship to Cincinnati too."  They may be teammates on the field, but Ike laughed about some changes he'd like to see off the field.  "They're males; they're all dirty.  I try to be organized, and I find plates in the sink, and I have to clean them up.  But I'm starting to get used to it."


As a fifth year high school player, Ike would like to graduate early from Harmony and get enrolled at Cincinnati in time to participate in spring football.  "I'm planning to graduate in December if all my grades are right.  I'm getting all A's now so I could be enrolled at Cincinnati by the spring."


Some of the best local high school players see Cincinnati as a lower tier Division IA school, but Ike doesn't understand that kind of thinking.  "I'm very excited.  They won eight games last year and a bowl game.  I'm proud to be a part of the program, and I know I'm going to get to play in several bowl games in the years to come." 


What's Ike's immediate goal when he arrives at Cincinnati?  "I'm looking to play as a true freshman if I work hard enough.  If that doesn't happen, I'll learn from the people in front of me and get it the next year."


Ike had a few things he wanted Bearcats fans to know.  "I love football and the competition.  I'm also a leader.  I showed it today in rafting.  I was a captain, and we came in first place."  

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