Odenigbo reports on Stanford visit

Perhaps Stanford's top remaining defensive target for the 2012 class is Ohio outside linebacker Ifeadi Odenigbo. A four-star pass rusher with devastating speed, Odenigbo took his official visit to Stanford last weekend for the Oregon game.

Ifeadi Odenigbo arrived in the Bay Area for his second visit to Stanford on Friday morning, following an unofficial trip over summer.

He began this visit by meeting with the Cardinal coaches and sitting in on some team meetings.

"I saw the football coaches and there was a meeting," Odenigbo said. "After that, they took me to lunch, then I met with Coach Mason. We were just talking about the defense, how they see me playing. It was a good conversation. From there, I attended the special teams meeting with Coach Polian. I saw how Coach Polian was coaching them up. He was telling them don't over-pursue, because this team will take advantage of that, and that stuff.

After sitting in on a defensive meeting, Odenigbo joined the outside linebackers for their position meeting.

"I went with the outside linebackers," Odenigbo said. "I got to meet a couple of the players and got to see how Coach Anderson was coaching, so that was pretty cool."

Odenigbo concluded the afternoon by meeting with linebackers coach Jason Tarver and attending team chapel, before taking part in the team dinner.

"Dinner was really nice," Odenigbo said. "I got to eat with the players and sat down and spoke with Michael Thomas. Then I spoke with a lot of the linebackers. They were telling me their first impression of Stanford, about classes. That really helped me out a lot."

On Saturday, Odenigbo, who was hosted for freshman Kevin Anderson, woke up bright and early to attend ESPN's College GameDay show.

"I woke up at 8:00 a.m. and went to College GameDay which was pretty cool," Odenigbo said. "It was awesome. I got to see all the hosts like Kirk Herbstreit, he went to my high school, so it was pretty cool seeing him. One thing about the place is the campus was stacked. There were so many people on campus, it looked like a city. It was like the size of Stanford quadrupled overnight."

Later, Odenigbo met with Stanford strength and conditioning coach Shannon Turley, who impressed Odenigbo with his training philosophy.

"I'm a big fan of his," Odenigbo said. "I'm a really big fan of his. He's really different from other strength and conditioning coaches. I've never heard a strength and conditioning coach say he doesn't care what you lift. (Turley is known for putting an emphasis on football-functional strength, rather than gaudy bench-pressing numbers.) It's kind of unique. He's a different kind of strength and conditioning coach."

Up next was a visit with a certain former United States Secretary of State.

"From there I got to meet Condoleeza Rice," Odenigbo said. "I got a book and got her autograph for my coach, because one of my football coaches is a big fan of her. That was pretty cool. She spoke to us, shared her wisdom. I'm a big fan of Condoleeza Rice. I'm on that bandwagon now."

After stopping by a pregame tailgate, Odenigbo and the other recruits went to Stanford Stadium for only the second college football game Odenigbo has ever attended.

"The atmosphere was intense," Odenigbo said. "This was my second college football game, and the first one was the Notre Dame/USC game, so it was that atmosphere right there. I don't think when I go to other college football games it'll be that loud."

After the game, Odenigbo went out to dinner with some Stanford coaches before returning to the hotel room to hang out with the players.

Before he flew back home on Sunday, Odenigbo had a chance to tour the Electronic Arts headquarters in Menlo Park.

"Sunday I had breakfast at the hotel then I checked out," Odenigbo said. "Then we departed from campus and they took us to EA Sports. They gave us a tour around EA Sports, so that was really cool. EA Sports was just amazing. I got to see all the games. I got to see Battlefield 3, I got to see FIFA, Madden, NCAA… everything was there. And that was really cool."

When reflecting on his visit, Odenigbo said the biggest difference between this trip and his unofficial over the summer was the amount of interaction he was able to have with the Stanford student body and his potential future teammates.

"I actually got to see people," Odenigbo said. "When I went in the summer, nobody was really there. I got to see the student body, so that made a huge impact. And I got to spend more time with the coaches and I got to see the whole Stanford campus and the dorms. The main thing was really the student body, I feel like. I actually got to spend time with the players. It was really cool how much I interacted with the players.

"I feel like I could fit with them perfectly. I was just clicking with all the players. It was a great feeling. They have genuinely good players…those players are scholar-athletes and I have tremendous respect for all of them."

Odenigbo plans on taking his third, and possibly final, official visit to Northwestern in early December.

"I plan on taking a trip to Northwestern Dec. 3, so I'll see after that trip," Odenigbo said. "I don't have any other official visits set, but we'll see how it goes. After Northwestern I'll see where I'm at."

Odenigbo has no timeline for making a commitment.

"I'm playing it by ear, so I don't really have a set time," Odenigbo said.

It's likely the four-star recruit will hear from Stanford Admissions by his decision date, however. After toiling over the application for weeks, Odenigbo submitted it earlier this week.

"They have a million essays," Odenigbo said. "Thank God only Stanford does that. If every college has that many essays I don't know what I would be doing. It was such deep thinking. It's a relief.

"I just sent it in [earlier this week]. The last thing I have to do is get my recommendation."

Odenigbo hopes to receive a response from the admissions office in "two or three weeks".

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