Richard Jibunor head to The Opening regional outside Atlanta last week intent on showing the recruiting world at large his skill set.
Put simply, the three-star outside linebacker from Athens, Ga., likes to terrorize quarterbacks. Jibunor signed up for the camp as a linebacker. But after sizing up the offensive linemen in attendance, he chose to join the defensive end group.
Turned out to be a wise decision. Jibunor walked away with position group MVP honors.
“I’m trying my best to be the best pass rusher,” Jibunor said. “I’ve got speed and I’m trying to build my size. I know I’ve got lots of space to grow. I want a school that can really use me. My school right now, they blitz me a lot. I do things like that.
“I just love rushing the quarterback. If there’s anything I hate it’s when the quarterback picks up his hands and throws a pass. I get there as fast as I can. That’s what I wanna do.”
Already Jibunor is reaping the rewards of his performance.
Notre Dame offered a scholarship Tuesday, joining a small but eclectic group of programs to do so. Alabama, Auburn, Iowa State, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wake Forest are among the entrants.
Jibunor has been talking to the Irish since last football season. After reviewing his film a little closer, they saw fit to offer.
“They said they’ve really been following me,” Jibunor said. “Since the football season they’ve been watching my film, like every game. They have really been looking at me for a long time. Right now they feel is the right time to pull the trigger.”
Adding Notre Dame to the list is something the 6-foot-4, 206-pound prospect has been hoping to do for some time. Now he’s eager to learn more about the program.
“I really can’t place a finger on it right now,” Jibunor said. “But I know about them and have read about them. I’ve watched them play, previous season’s games. They have a really good atmosphere and they’ve got a good football program I think.”
Other programs from which Jibunor would like to add an offer include Florida, Florida State and LSU. Next up in terms of the recruiting process are trips to Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee. Jibunor isn’t sure yet when those will happen, other than to say in the near future.
Right now the plan is to see as many places as possible this spring and summer with an eye toward winding the process down by the time the season arrives.
“The main thing I want to see is the things I’ve been hearing about the schools,” Jibunor said. “Like the environment. I really want to watch a practice and see what the coaches have been telling me about. I wanna get a feel for the environment and their plans for me. Apart from fun talks I want to see what we’ve discussed and how they really want to use me.”