Rather than sit back, content with his three years of gridiron success, Owamagbe Odighizuwa (Ow-ah-mahg-bay Oh-dig-ee-zoo-wa) hopes to build toward an even stronger senior year.
"My junior season went really well," Odighizuwa said. "I was First Team All-League the second time in a row, for my sophomore and junior years now. I was the Defensive Player of the Year, Second Team All-State, and I was Defensive MVP at the US Army Combine. Senior year, I hope to be First Team All-State, All-League, Defensive Player of the Year and an All-American."
His play already has been standout enough to attract the eyes of colleges across the country. Odighizuwa stands at 11 offers – and counting.
"I have offers from Oregon, Oregon State, Florida, Tennessee, Stanford, Notre Dame, Colorado, Washington, LSU and Arizona State," said Odighizuwa, also offered by Nebraska just last week. "I haven't really started narrowing down my choices. I've kind of been just checking off which schools have interest in me, and hopefully by the end of the summer I can have my choices narrowed down."
Odighizuwa visited one school on that list – attending Stanford's Junior Day Feb. 27 and 28. He said the experience helped elevate the Cardinal in his eyes.
"It was really good," said Odighizuwa, who adds he plans on studying business in college, in hopes of working for a major corporation after football. "I enjoyed my time there. The whole campus was really impressive to me and the coaching staff seemed like really good people. The academic part of Stanford really stood out to me."
Odighizuwa expanded upon the relationship he built with Stanford's coaches.
"I felt like they were just honest people, good guys who take care of their players, really take care of their players. That's kind of what I look for in a school too, the respect of its coaches. … I haven't talked to them on the phone in awhile, but usually I talk to Coach Drevno, the offensive line coach who recruits in Oregon. Getting down there really made it a lot easier to be comfortable with the coaches."
Like countless other Stanford recruits and commits, Odighizuwa also couldn't help but notice the enthusiasm radiating from the head man, Coach Jim Harbaugh.
"He was a real down-to-earth person, really good," he said. "I just got a lot of good vibes from him. He seems like the guy you want to play football for."
Despite the kind words for Stanford, however, Odighizuwa's recruitment is still very much alive. For one thing, Odighizuwa hears less from Stanford than from a school on the other side of the country.
"Florida is talking to me the most," he reports. "They're the school I keep in contact with the most."
For another, Odighizuwa has seen two other schools already, has another visit in the works, and hopes to take more trips yet.
"I plan to take a visit to Florida, and I've visited football games Oregon and Oregon State because they're in-state," he said. "I don't know which other schools I want to go to yet. I'm kind of waiting for more offers to come."
Stanford fans are well acquainted with two of those schools that Odighizuwa thinks might be next to offer.
"USC and Cal are talking," he said. "Cal said they're more than likely going to offer, but they want to see my film first. USC says that they need Pete Carroll to see my film because he's the one who makes offers."
It's only March, but another aspect of Odighizuwa's recruitment already stands out. Unlike many recruits who prefer to stay close to home, Odighizuwa expresses a slight preference for leaving the Beaver State.
"I'm more likely looking out of state than in-state, but I'm open to staying in-state," he said. "It doesn't matter what the area really is."
While location, then, doesn't figure to be a deciding factor, Odighizuwa does have an idea of what he might look at more carefully in a school.
"I really want a school that's really good at academics, making sure their guys graduate and get a good degree, and are serious about that aspect of it," Odighizuwa said. "And then, I want a really good football program and personable coaches. And then, I want a good social life."
Wherever Odighizuwa ends up, stay tuned to TheBootleg.com as we follow all the latest.
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