Jordan Hamm

Arizona's No. 1-Rated Defensive End Odua Isibor Hearing From UCLA

Oct. 5 -- Phoenix (Ariz.) St. Mary's three-star Odua Isibor, the top-rated defensive end in the state of Arizona, took his first official visit last week and has been hearing from UCLA...

With a bevy of Power Five programs already in pursuit, Odua Isibor took an unconventional step last week by officially visiting Yale.

It was move not many others in his position would make, but that line of thinking fits the three-star prospect from Phoenix (Ariz.) St. Mary's perfectly.

"It's an experience that's life changing," Isibor told "It's not something you can do every day where you get to stay at one of the most influential schools in the country. (Yale) is one of the schools that makes the biggest difference.

"Academics are a big factor for me, I would say, and it's a big portion of (my decision)."

Four official visit spots remain on the itinerary and several programs are in contention to draw looks. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound rush end said he has been in conversations with Arizona StateOregon and Texas A&M about scheduling trips.

The likes of ArizonaCaliforniaOregon StateStanfordUCLA and USC are also under consideration for the West region's No. 11-rated defensive end.

"Actually, (proximity to home) is starting to matter a bit more," Isibor said. "I feel like it would be a lot easier to deal with a new academic setting and a new setting in general if I was closer to home.

"I like how close the ASU coaching staff has remained with me through the process. They are always calling me and talking to me. They make me feel like I'm part of the family. I would be a pass rusher in that scheme. That's mostly what I've been recruited for."

The Ducks, meanwhile, have been an intriguing option since the summer when Isibor heard they had offered.

"I didn't know much about the program, but my athletic director pulled me to the side and gave me coach (Ron) Aiken's number because they wanted to talk to me. It was just a surreal experience and that feeling has stayed with me since then. I just want to be a part of a program like that."

Texas A&M has recruited Arizona well in recent years and Isibor said he sees an opportunity to fit into an aggressive scheme.

"I talk to coach (Terry) Price a lot, actually," Isibor said. "I always look at Myles Garrett because he's such an enormous force on that team. I look up to him on the defensive side. I would want to model my game to his and become a better player. A&M would be a perfect place to do that since he goes there."

As for the Los Angeles schools, Isibor previously lived in the area and said he is familiar with both programs.

"I used to drive around USC all the time and I've been to a UCLA game before," Isibor said. "I'm familiar with those schools and been to USC on an unofficial. USC is one of my top choices, but I don't know how the recruiting process is going with them right now. It's a perfect school.

"UCLA has not offered yet I don't think, but I recently started talking to them and they've been sending me mail. I'm talking to a few of their coaches and I'm excited to continue that dialogue."

Isibor initially planned to make a decision before the start of his senior season but opted to continue gathering more information and see schools he had never been to.

"I want to see schools, especially since I've now been to Yale and my entire perspective about what each school offers has completely changed," Isibor said. "I definitely need to visit more schools first and within the next month or so, I should be able to narrow it down maybe to three schools."

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