4-star Odenigbo Surprised By Notre Dame Visit

Centerville (Ohio) High four-star outside linebacker Ifeadi Odenigbo made his official visit to Notre Dame nearly two weeks ago, but it is still fresh in his mind. He spoke to IrishEyes.com about the trip, what he learned, and the experience of attending his first college game.

Centerville (Ohio) High four-star outside linebacker Ifeadi Odenigbo was blown away by his first trip to a college football game, and dumbfounded when members of the crowd starting chanting his name.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Odenigbo added another positive from his official visit to Notre Dame for last month's USC game was the experience his mom received, since it was her first trip to the school.

"That was really important," he said. "Before I decide what school I want to go to, I want my parents to approve, so I want them to check it out. That was really important and my mom just loved it there. It went well."

The visit was structured around the Irish hosting USC in the first night game in more than two decades, and despite Notre Dame's loss the evening made a huge impression on Odenigbo.

"That was my third time there, so I sort of knew what everything was, but it was my very first (college) football game, so that stood out a lot," he said. "I've seen them on t.v., but it was weird to be there in person. It was so loud I couldn't hear myself think. I was just like, ‘Wow, this is college football right here.'

"I saw the campus, and the whole crowds, and when I was going in people knew who I was. I heard people chanting my name and I was like, ‘What the heck? I'm still in high school. How do they know the high school athletes?' "

Odenigbo was hosted by linebacker Prince Shembo, and the two hung out with other teammates on a low-key Saturday night because of the tough loss.

"The day of the game, you don't get a lot of time to talk to the coaches because they're preparing for the game, but after the game I spent time with Prince Shembo," Odenigbo said. "He was my host, and the next day I met with the whole Notre Dame staff and the admission people, and the same with my mom.

"They feel like my personality and my work ethic matches Notre Dame. It's like a mirror. They see a reflection of someone that was meant for Notre Dame."

Odenigbo has an official visit to Northwestern set for Dec. 2-4. He plans to make an official visit to Stanford, but his high school playoff schedule could keep him from visiting Stanford for the game against Oregon next weekend, so he said he may go after the season. He has not set any other official visits, though.

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