Ifeadi Odenigbo on right track

Make no mistake, Ifeadi Odenigbo is headed on the right track with his football recruiting. The question is who will be the team that earns a pledge from this still-developing defensive standout in the next year. Irish Eyes caught up with Odenigbo to get the latest.

This past season Irish Eyes had a chance to catch Centerville (Ohio) High School defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo in action against Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne and their star quarterback Braxton Miller. While Odenigbo will not claim the game to be one of his best, what he showed on the field against one of the top players in the country got people talking about his potential. Irish Eyes spoke with the soon to be highly sought after prospect.

"Wayne was not my best game," Odenigbo told Irish Eyes. "I should have played better."

Considering the number of times the 6-foot-4, 201-pound defensive end chased Miller outside of the pocket, I would consider it a solid game. When you learn Ifeadi did not start playing football until his sophomore year, you can see the potential just starting to show.

While there will need to be continued strength and weight added to his frame, Odenigbo has already seen results in the past year.

"When I was a sophomore I could barley bench 200-pounds. Now, it is no problem to bench over 275-pounds and I will continue to do the work needed to get better."

The reason Odenigbo got such a late start on the football field came from his parent's belief in getting a strong start to his high school academics.

"My mother is a doctor and my father is an engineer so academics are very important in our family. My parents thought it best for me to have a strong academic first year before getting involved with the demands football require. Football at Centerville High School is very time consuming and looking back, I feel my parents were correct as I have a 3.2 to 3.4 GPA now."

While football came late, track is something Ifeadi has been doing for a long time.

"I have run track since I was in fourth grade. When I got to high school, people were telling me I should play football. So I decided to give it a try my sophomore year and really liked it. I did not play a lot of varsity that season, but I learned a lot and got better each day."

The track background is showing as Ifeadi shows great explosion and speed on the field.

"I've been timed running a forty in the 4.4-4.5 range."

Having already picked up offers from Stanford, Cincinnati, and Toledo, Odenigbo is starting to see other programs take heavy interest. One school that has jumped out to him is Notre Dame.

"I talk with Coach Hinton a lot and they send me stuff. I've never been to Notre Dame and hope to visit for their Junior Day on February 26 to see the campus and learn more about them."

In high school, Odenigbo is playing defensive end for the Elks. However, his future position will vary depending upon the defense ran at the school he chooses.

"I know Notre Dame runs a 3-4 defense and they see me as a player they can have rush the quarterback while also being able to drop back into coverage. Therefore, they would have me as an outside linebacker, a hybrid type of linebacker. Schools that run a 4-3 would have me as a defensive end."

Notre Dame is a school high on Ifeadi Odenigbo's list of schools. He knows football is only a small window of one's life.

"Academics come first. I want a school that can take care of me and place me on a career path of success."

Will the Irish offer the Centerville, Ohio native? That question could soon be answered when Odenigbo visits for the Irish Junior Day in February.

To view a small sample of Ifeadi Odenigbo in action, check out the following highlights.

Irish Eyes will continue to follow the recruiting of Ifeadi and any interest shown by Notre Dame.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories