Ishie Oduegwu has been called many things, most of them being good for him and his team and bad for anyone he faces. His coach calls him a "freak", but Oduegwu prefers to take a more modest approach to what he does on the field.
And what's that?
He hits.........and hard. Oh, and often as well. 152 tackles if you want to be picky about it, adding 2 interceptions, 30 tackles for loss and an incredible 15 total pass break-ups.
Ok, he IS a freak.
A freak with freedom that is, Oduegwu the only safety on defense. No, he's not the only safety on the depth chart, rather his defense is in a formation that has only one safety. I guess if you are going to have just one safety, this is the guy to have and you won't hear Ishie complaining one bit, because being the only guy in the middle allows him to do what he specializes in. "Fly to the ball." he said. "I have a lot of freedom out there to make plays, so I just fly to the ball."
That freedom makes him gravitate towards the safety position even though Ishie is being recruited as a DB as well. "I just like being out there and having the ability to read what's going on." Oduegwu stated. "It really gives you a lot of chances to make plays on the ball."
It certainly seems like Oduegwu doesn't have any problem doing that, hence the reason for the offers from schools like LSU, Missouri, BYU and Texas Tech. Aside from the offers Ishie holds now, he's pretty certain that he'll be getting offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas State and possibly Nebraska.
The offers from the Longhorns and Wildcats could come as early as this month, Ishie actually visiting Kansas State this weekend and Texas towards the middle of the month.
As for his decision, while Ishie thinks he may make an early decision, he's still opting for visits even if that occurs. "I think if I take any official visits, they will be to Miami, UCLA, Nebraska and I'm not sure who else." he said. "I haven't really thought about where I would take them all."
Miami seems to be looming as the early favorite for Oduegwu even though they haven't offered from what Ishie said. The only issue with the ‘Canes outside of the offer of course, is the considerable distance from home. "My mom doesn't really want me to go too far away." Ishie said. "But, we are going to sit down as a family and talk about that, so I don't know about how that will work out right now."
Considering the fact that Miami hasn't offered and isn't amongst the teams that Ishie thinks will offer sometime soon and they still lead the pack for his services, it would appear that if the Canes do come up with an offer, Oduegwu is heading to Florida.
Now, if they don't offer though, the doors swing wide-open for everyone else and Oduegwu says he doesn't have a clue as to who is a solid second place. "I'm just going to look around and see if something feels right." he said. "I hope to have a decision before the season, but it's not like I have to. If I have to wait to make sure I go to the right place, that's what I will have to do."
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619