Virginia LB Interested In PSU

This article, published as a premium article on 9/24, is being republished for the benefit of non-subscribers.<br><br> 6'2", 230-pound LB Obi Oluigbo (pronounced oh-LEE-bo) can play the linebacker position, and play it well.

Last season, the powerful athlete from Episcopal High in Alexandria, Virginia who benches 375 pounds, totaled 85 tackles including 17 for a loss, 12 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and an interception.  He accomplished all of that in 8 games, as he missed the last game with a broken finger.  He also plays FB on offense "about a series per quarter".  Although most schools are recruiting him as a LB, several schools, including Penn State, are envisioning him as a possible FB as well as a LB.  Obi prefers playing LB, but will play "whatever gets me on the field quicker."

According to Obi, the level of competition his school plays against is very good.

"The league is called the IAC League," he said.  "The level of competition is pretty good.  Three of the teams are ranked in the top 20 in the area by the Washington Post.  The WCAC is the strongest league in the area with teams like DeMatha.  In the first week, three IAC teams beat WCAC teams."

Obi is off to a terrific start this year.  In his first game, he had 15 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery in 3 quarters of play.  He followed that up by recording 17 tackles (3 on special teams), 6 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, a forced fumble and about 5 QB hurries in his second game.

Obi's team is 0-2 so far.  According to Obi, his team narrowly lost to both McDonough, who is the #7 team in the state of Maryland, and Bullis Prep, the #13 team in the state of Maryland.

"I played strong side OLB and weak side DE in the first half," Obi said of his most recent game against Bullis Prep.  "In the second half, I played MLB and nose tackle, which gave Bullis fits. Bullis has averaged about 37 points a game in their past 16-17 games." 

There are many teams, including Penn State, interested in the talented Virginia LB.

"Three schools said they are going to offer, but not until we visit," he said.  "Those are Penn State, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt.  South Carolina, Virginia, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Georgia, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Rutgers and Syracuse are some of the other teams recruiting me.  I'd say Penn State is recruiting me the hardest, then South Carolina, Maryland and Vanderbilt.  Penn State has already seen me play.  But, other schools, that haven't seen me play, want me to send game tapes.  Penn State has some game tape on me.  I performed well at their camp too.  They've been kind of recruiting me since 9th grade.  I always got little stuff from them because my old coach at my old school, Coach Chuck Hickes, went to Penn State.  He told them about me.  They said they're going to offer.  They just want to see how I do this year, because last year, I didn't play MLB and they want me as a MLB.  I played more of an OLB/DE type position last year.  I play MLB more this year.  I switch about every other drive, because if I play on one side of the ball, teams kind of run away from me.  If they start doing that, I go back to the middle.  Also, Penn State wants to see me take more snaps at FB.  Coach Vanderlinden said he's going to try to come to a game this year.  We're going to take an unofficial visit to Penn State on October 6 for a game (against Michigan)."

Obi has a great combination of speed (4.62 40-yard dash) and strength.  He is also becoming quite familiar with the linebacker position.

"I can read blocks really well and I pick up the run quickly," Obi said when asked to described his strengths.  "I'm also fast dropping into coverage and running sideline to sideline.  I try to model my game after Ray Lewis."

Obi is being recruited by Coach Larry Johnson, and got a tour of the Penn State athletic facilities while attending summer camp there.

"I met the whole coaching staff," he said.  "I liked Joe Paterno a lot.  I got a complete tour, and when my father came to pick me up, they took him and my sister and showed them around."

In addition to attending camp at Penn State this summer, he also attended summer camps at Virginia and Virginia Tech.

"I enjoyed them all," he said of the camps.  "I met more people at the Virginia camp, guys that are looking at big D1 schools, but they were all good.  I met Keenan Carter, Jonathan Lewis, Marcus Vick, Anthony Martinez and Evan Kraky."

Obi also became friends with LB Kai Parham while attending the VT camp.  They had adjoining rooms.  Obi does talk with his fellow recruits periodically, but will make his own decision when deciding where to attend college.

"After the season, I want to sit down and look at all the other schools that are looking at me, like Georgia Tech, Georgia, and others.  I don't really have any favorites right now.  I'm going to take all 5 visits."

Obi also attended a game at Maryland against North Carolina and plans to catch a game at VT later in the year.

Obi is not opposed to redshirting, but would definitely like to get on the field by his second year.  Playing time and the overall atmosphere at the school will play a large role in helping Obi decide which college to attend.

Obi favored a couple of teams growing up.

"I used to like Notre Dame a lot when I was younger," Obi said.  "Notre Dame and Penn State."


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