Odighizuwa gets a visit

With multiple prospects from the Carolinas and Virginia already on their radar, the Tigers can now quite literally claim to be searching for defensive end prospects from coast to coast after their recent visit to Portland, Oregon to see Owamagbe Odighizuwa.

After finishing last season with 96 tackles and 18 sacks, Odighizuwa is ready to get back on the field.

“Spring is going great so far, and we finally start practice again next week,” he said. “I’m anxious to see what I’ve gotten better at and what I need to continue improving on. I’m going to play tight end this year too. I’ve never played offense before, so I’ll get to see where I’m at there on that side.” 

Even though practice has not kicked into gear, Odighizuwa has already seen a parade of college coaches come through his school. 

“Florida, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA, Cal, LSU, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State, and Washington have all been by my school already,” he said. “USC is supposed to be coming next week. They can’t really talk to me while they’re here, but my coaches talk to them. They all say I’m a great person and have good grades, and they like how I play football and carry myself.” 

Odighizuwa has been doing some traveling of his own, and plans to do even more with summer just around the corner. 

“I went up to Washington and Oregon for visits earlier this spring,” he said. “I had never been up to Washington before but it was pretty neat. I’ve been to Oregon before, but this time I got a chance to meet new defensive line coach.  

“By first or second week of June I’d like to have a list of five or six schools,” he added. “I’ll try to visit those schools over the summer if possible, and if not then during the fall. Hopefully I’ll be ready to announce my decision at US Army Game.” 

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound defensive end certainly has a tough decision to make in the coming weeks when he cuts down his impressive list of schools to a select few. 

“I’m dealing with recruiting really well so far,” he said. “I’m not letting it stress me out, but it can be a bit of a hassle sometimes. Right now I have offers from 15 schools, and they are Florida, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Colorado, Tennessee, Duke, LSU, and all the Pac 10 schools except Washington State and Arizona. The only other school that’s really recruiting me is Alabama, and they just send letters in the mail.” 

Can the Tigers catch up with rest of the pack for the Portland standout?

“I’m going to be focusing on schools that make an attempt to get to know me more than others, because I feel like I can trust those coaches more,” he continued. “Also if I can see myself living in that area and going to school there for four years. Distance doesn’t really matter; it’s going to be wherever I feel comfortable. After I have it narrowed down I’m going to look more into other things like playing time.” 

Given their need for defensive ends in this class, the Tigers are certainly hoping to find themselves in Odighizuwa’s final five or six schools. But the 4-star prospect says LSU has some catching up to do if that is going to happen. 

“Coach McCarthy came to our school last Friday, and I know LSU holds its own in academics and has a great football reputation,” said the nation’s 13th ranked defensive end. “But I don’t know very much else about them, and I haven’t really spoken to the coaches yet. I feel like it would help LSU if I got to know the coaches better.” 

Though Odighizuwa is not afraid to travel away from home, he says location is one factor working against the Tigers at this point. 

“I told Coach McCarthy I couldn’t really see myself living in a southern state based on what I’ve heard and seen in the media,” Odighizuwa said. “He said I could never really know what its like until I experienced it for myself. So the main thing I want to see about LSU if I visit down there is just the area it’s in and the people around it.” 

Odighizuwa says he is thinking about making the visit happen if the interest picks up from LSU’s side. 

“LSU has a great reputation on the defensive line with Glen Dorsey and Tyson Jackson the last two years,” he said. “I would like to potentially take a visit down there, but I need more communication first. I’m supposed to talk to the defensive line coach soon. I need to get to know him and the other coaches better.”

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