Outside looking in

There seems to be at least some new effort when it comes to Nebraska and recruiting more relevant areas to the Big 10 conference. You can quickly see by looking at the database that there are higher number of recruits in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio for starters. This particular Ohio LB says that Nebraska offered just two weeks ago and a lack of information has Nebraska on the outside looking in.

Ifeadi Odenigbo from Centerville (Ohio) has been getting ready for his senior year. He knew where he was lacking last year and has been putting in the work in the offseason to be better this fall.

"Things are going good right now," Odenigbo said. "I think I lacked core strength last year and I didn't do lot of leg work. I concentrated on doing bench press.

"So I have been doing a lot more squats this year for leg strength and doing plyometrics and over core exercises to strengthen my core."

Odenigbo is also thinking about how his role with his team mates will change this year. He is stepping up to be a leader and has some ideas how he is planning to lead this year.

"One thing I want to do is lead by example. I want to be sure that I am very vocal and also make sure that me and my team are always in the right mindset to win and be competitive."

The recruiting process started early for Odenigbo and when he got his first offer he thought that is where he would go to school. Since then he's picked up offer after offer and the process has been overwhelming at times.

"It's really changed because when I started getting more offers it really started to become overwhelming. When I got my offer from Cincinnati, my first offer, I was just happy to get an offer and felt like I would just go there.

"Then after signing day the offers just started coming in one after another, boom-boom-boom, and I was averaging two offers a day. It was just so overwhelming."

Odenigbo is being looked at to play either as an outside linebacker or as a defensive end depending on the defense. One school has "bucked" that trend and likes Odenigbo just as a linebacker.

"For 3-4 defenses I am being recruited to play outside linebacker and for 4-3 defenses they like me as a defensive end. Ohio State on the other hand offered me as a linebacker in a 4-3 to play the viper position."

Odenigbo says that he hasn't had a lot of experience playing in a two-point, but that is going to change this year due in large part from the interest of the schools that are recruiting him to play that position.

"We play a 4-3 right now in high school so my hand is on the ground and I am comfortable doing that. They said this year that they are going to work me a little different standing me up and coming off the edge.

"Towards the end of the year last year we had a set defense where all of the defensive lineman lined up in a two point stance. It kind of psyched out or intimidated the offense."

It's a smooth two dozen offers for Odenigbo at the moment, but he's sitting on a top four with some schools just on the outside of that trimmed list. He knows what he's looking for in a school and he's used those criteria to create his list of favorites.

"I am up to 24 offers right now. I have a feel for my top teams and have narrowed things down to Ohio State, Stanford, Notre Dame and Northwestern. But I am still looking at schools Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State this summer.

"My number one thing for picking a school is education. I never thought I would be in this situation after my junior year. I didn't think that I would get offers. I am really thankful. I would like to go to a very, very good academic school.

"Second I am looking at my relationship with the coaches and see if I could impact a team early in my career. Those are really the things that I am looking at."

The Huskers entered the picture relatively late for Odenigbo, considering how many offers he had before theirs, and says that a lack of general knowledge about the school has the Huskers on the outside looking in.

"I think that Nebraska offered me two or three weeks ago. That made them the 18th or 19th offer. To tell you the truth Nebraska is just one of those schools I don't know a lot about.

"I know a lot about the schools on my list now, but there are those schools that I don't know a lot about that have offered. Ross Els is recruiting me from Nebraska."

If there is one positive to take away from this it's that no school has truly been shut out by Odenigbo until he makes his decision. He will be taking a look at more information from schools such as Nebraska and they could re-enter the picture.

"It's not over for Nebraska. I haven't taken the time to look at all of the schools on line and research every school so I could see Nebraska being a school that could still be in the picture. As I get more information and find out about their academics I could see me getting more interested in them."

Big Red Report Top Stories