Irabor Fulfills ‘Dream' with ASU Pledge

There were various factors that led Upland (Calif.) cornerback Osahon Irabor to commit to the Sun Devils. Yet, all those reasons seem to be rooted in the fact that a strong and early (and we mean early) impression by ASU and its staff planted the seeds to the eventual public verbal commitment that Irabor gave the maroon and gold today.

"A month after the 2007 season ended Coach Lubick offered me a scholarship," said the 5-11 183 Irabor. "Arizona State was my second offer, and I was very excited to get it. It's always been a dream of mine to go there and I was really waiting for that offer."

"Coach Lubick and I hit it off and from the beginning I just had a great experience with Arizona State. He told me that there's a definite commitment at Arizona State to be one of the top programs in the country. With that great coaching staff there it was just too hard to pass up. "

Irabor took his only visit to ASU in the beginning of June, and was naturally awed with the experience. "The school itself is very impressive," he said. "They're new buildings going up everywhere and they're working on an indoor practice facility. They have a great business school and I'm very interested majoring in that area. The campus is beautiful and Tempe is a beautiful town."

The corner said that roughly a month after that trip he knew that he would commit to the Sun Devils.

"After looking at all the schools that offered me I was looking for a reason that would show me why I don't want to go to Arizona State, and I couldn't find it," Irabor recalled. "I just wanted to end the recruiting process early, let the schools that offered me to go ahead and focus on other players and let me focus on my senior year. I was on the phone three hours every night and it was getting very hectic."

"I know Arizona State is a school where I have a chance to compete early for playing time. But even if I don't get to play a lot, I want to go to a place where I can win. That's why I'm a Sun Devil."

By his own admission, Osahon Irabor has been following college and professional football from a very young age, and the accomplishments of Sun Devils' head coach Dennis Erickson didn't go unnoticed by ASU's latest commit. "It was very cool to meet him in person and it's an honor to play for him next year," Irabor stated.

On that note, Irabor made it a point to follow the maroon and gold last year, even before he received an offer. Needless to say that their style of play struck a positive accord with the Upland corner. "Their defense is very efficient, they play smart and they play fast," he noted. "All good things."

One player that caught the eye of Irabor on the Sun Devil squad was a former high school foe who stands to be a future college teammate in the secondary.

"I played against Omar Bolden (who played at nearby Colony High School) my sophomore year," said Irabor. "He was playing running back and even as a corner I was still chasing him down – he torched us (smile). We have a lot of mutual respect as players, and I got to meet him when I visited Tempe. He's a real cool dude."

Ironically, ASU's archrival Arizona was the first school to offer Irabor and the corner acknowledges that his choice ultimately came down to the Sun Devils and the Wildcats. The early offers from both Arizona programs prompted a dozen more from schools such as Cal, Nebraska, Boise State, Northwestern and Washington.

The latest offer came just a few days ago from UCLA. Irabor indicated in the past that he was interested in receiving an offer from the Bruins, but when UCLA pulled the trigger the corner's mind was already made up. "They stood out early to me in the process along with Arizona State," he said. "When they offered, my mom wanted me to take a little more time to make sure that my decision to go to Arizona State was the right one. UCLA offering me when they did was too little too late."

UCLA and USC were the only schools the corner visited unofficially, aside from ASU. The natural tendency wanting to play close to home was strongly offset with the familiarity and comfort level Irabor had towards the Valley of the Sun. "It was an easy decision (to play away from home) because I have cousins that live in Arizona and growing up I used to visit them all the time," he said. "It's very similar to where I live and not too much of a transition."

During his junior year, Irabor had 49 tackles, three interceptions, two blocked punts and a safety and added 16 receptions for 325 yards and two touchdowns from his wide receiver spot. Irabor, who runs a 4.43, sated that he's more than just a speedy cover corner. "I take pride being aggressive, coming down and stopping the run," he said. "I love hitting people but I also have great ball skills. I need to loosen my hips more and that just comes with more training."

Upland finished 8-3 in the 2007, and Irabor stated that with a strong returning cast of players, headed by blue chip quarterback prospect Josh Nunes, he believes that "we have a great team and we can be 10-0."

Irabor, who will take an official visit to Tempe at an unspecified date before signing day, is on track to academically qualify with a GPA of 3.0 and an SAT score of 1380. The corner who's ranked 39th in the nation by, is ASU's sixth know commitment of the 2009 class.

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