Let's Meet Ifeadi Odenigbo

One of the hottest recruits in America is Centerville defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, and he is drawing recruiting attention from the top programs in America. Odenigbo's recruitment has taken off at record speed since his film began circulating the internet, and among college recruiters. Scout has a closer look at this rising star.

It doesn't take a recruiting expert to watch a few frames of Ifeadi Odenigbo on film to know you are seeing something special right before your eyes. The speed off the ball is impressive enough, but when you realize he hasn't played a lot of football to date, the ceiling is off the charts.

Odenigbo, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, exploded onto the scene late in the year, and his improvement was staggering, considering he did not start on the varsity until his junior season, and was a "bad" player, in his words, as a sophomore.

"I had a pretty good year as a junior, but I know I can get a lot better," Odenigbo stated. "I played with other great players, and I credit people like Michael Bennett for helping me on the field and off the field. This is all pretty overwhelming to be honest, but Mike has shown me how to stay humble, and not get a big head."

"We all worked together, and we played off each others strengths," he added. "The other three guys were more run-stoppers, while I played at 205-pounds, and wasn't as good at that part of the game. Then, I would be the pass-rusher, helping them out. Basically, we all had each others backs, and we all worked well together. When I would get locked up on a 290-pound tackle, they would help me out. I'm now up to 215-pounds, and I plan on playing at 225-pounds next year, and be a complete player."

Even though he received his first offer at the end of 2010, his recruitment didn't become white-hot until recently, after his ultra-impressive film was circulated.

"I did get my first offer in December, from Cincinnati, and that was such a great moment for me," he admitted. "It was a great relief, to be honest, and I never expected anyone would think I could play major college football for them. I only played a little bit as a sophomore, and I was pretty bad. Really, I was pretty awful, and the growth between my sophomore and junior year was pretty amazing."

"People told me I could be good at football, but my first love was track," he continued. "I decided to give football an honest shot, and I'm pretty flabbergasted at how this has all happened for me. I now have 12 total offers, and that is truly shocking to me."

Odenigbo previously accumulated offers from schools like Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, and others, but Wednesday came news of his latest offer, from Ohio State.

"The Ohio State offer was very special to me, and my heart started pounding when I heard about it," he stressed. "There are so many great defensive ends in Ohio, and they all have great offers, so I never thought Ohio State would consider me. I haven't spoken to Ohio State yet, but tomorrow morning I will be calling Coach (Jim) Tressel from our office."

"I am being recruited as a hybrid linebacker/defensive end position, and Ohio State calls it the 'LEO' position," he said. "While I'm thrilled with the Ohio State offer, there are other schools I am interested in, and I will be taking unofficial visits with my parents to different schools. If I don't commit before next season, then I will take official visits and announce late."

There is one other school that has caught Odenigbo's eye, and even though they haven't offered yet, he feels it could be coming soon.

"I like Notre Dame a lot, and I've been talking to them," he stated. "They are one of my favorite schools, and I know about their tradition, which is also what I love about Centerville. Notre Dame stands for something, and that means a lot to me. I am very satisfied with my offers, and the people recruiting me, so I'm not really looking at a lot of other schools."

Odenigbo's growth as a player is pretty amazing, considering he did not play football as a freshmen, because his parents were not pleased with his academic progress.

"My parents are Nigerian immigrants, and education is truly their passion in life, not athletics," Odenigbo explained. "As a freshman, my parents wouldn't let me play, and said until my grades improved there would be no football. Things definitely improved, and I got the message, so they let me play as a sophomore."

"I am the first member of my family to be born in America, and I have one older brother and a younger brother," he added. "My father doesn't really understand the game at all, and they moved here around 1990. They're just as surprised as I am that this has happened, and they still don't really understand why people get full scholarships for football. As I said, they're educated people, and that is their first priority for all their children."

Scout will continue to monitor the progress of Ifeadi Odenigbo, and will update his recruitment as circumstances warrant.

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