Odenigbo Gets First Look At Horseshoe

Despite living relatively close to Ohio State, coveted defensive end prospect Ifeadi Odenigbo hadn't seen Ohio Stadium in person. On Monday, however, Odenigbo got his first taste when his Centerville football team played in the Horseshoe. He talks about that experience and his recruitment inside.

Despite his relatively close proximity to Ohio State's campus, four-star defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo had never seen the Buckeyes play live in Ohio Stadium.

When Centerville (Ohio) played in the Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic Monday, however, Odenigbo skipped a step with his first taste of the Horseshoe coming as a player, not a fan.

"It was a great experience," said the 6-4, 220-pound Odenigbo, who is perhaps one of the most coveted prospects still remaining on Ohio State's recruiting board. "The first two drives I was so anxious. I had butterflies in my stomach. This (was) my first time down here. I've never been to an Ohio State football game. I got my first look at it and I was impressed."

Unfortunately for Odenigbo, his Elks came couldn't overcome its opponent in front of nearly 1,000 fans, as Centerville fell to Indianapolis Cathedral, 34-17. Centerville is now 0-2 after dropping its season opener to Cincinnati Elder.

Still Odenigbo, who recorded five tackles (three for a loss), is optimistic his team can bounce back from its disappointing start to the season.

"What I take from this experience is how we respond to adversity," Odenigbo said. "That was the most important thing. (Cathedral) gave us some different looks. One thing as a defensive line that we need to work on is traps."

While Odenigbo was preparing for the game, the defensive end's family was on a visit at Ohio State with Buckeyes defensive coordinator Jim Heacock.

Though there are no changes to his top five — Ohio State, Stanford, Cal, Notre Dame, and Northwestern all remain on his list — Odenigbo said he plans to come back to Ohio State for another visit.

"I am definitely coming back. I'll probably come back for a big game because I want to see my (former) teammate Michael Bennett play," said Odenigbo, who enjoyed the company of Bennett on the sideline during the game.

Bennett, who is in his freshman season with the Buckeyes, committed to Ohio State last year out of Centerville. Now playing on the defensive front for the Buckeyes as a freshman, Bennett had a sack in Ohio State's season-opening 42-0 win over Akron.

During Centerville's game in the Horseshoe, Bennett gave advice to Odenigbo and the rest of the Elks defense.

"One thing he told us (on the sideline), he feels like at times when someone makes a big play, like a tackle for a loss, that we need to get pumped," Odenigbo said. "He said it was too silent. He said we as a team need to get more adrenaline going."

Projecting as an outside linebacker at the next level, Odenigbo is still in the process of working out his visits. Ranked as Scout.com's No. 60 overall prospect, Odenigbo is concerned now with getting better for next week's game.

"I am going to go in tomorrow and watch film, learn from this experience, and then get better for next week," he said.

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