April 19, 2011

Ohio State impresses Odenigbo

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Tuesday evening provided Centerville (Ohio) defensive end/outside linebacker Ifeadi Odenigbo with his first opportunity to take in a college practice. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound specimen was in Columbus watching the Buckeyes workout and he definitely did not come away disappointed with what he saw.

"I really liked the tempo, that caught my attention," explained Odenigbo. "It wasn't the best conditions (regarding the weather) but I liked the atmosphere, how the tempo was, and how the coaches were. I got to see the film room while I was there too, it was really, really nice. I really liked it."

With some schools recruiting Odenigbo as a defensive end and others pegging him as an outside linebacker, Ohio State falls somewhere between the two as the Buckeyes are recruiting the outstanding athlete at their VIPER position, a hybrid between the two positions. With that in mind, Odenigbo spent practice focusing on that position.

"The main thing that I was focusing on was the VIPER position," he explained. "They told me the hardest thing about the VIPER position is finding the ideal person for it. A lot of times they have someone that is big but isn't quick enough or someone that is fast but doesn't have the size to play that position. Or sometimes they have someone that has everything but it's too much to learn and they have to simplify it for them. Ohio State believes that I can be that athlete because I'm at 220-pounds right now and I'm keeping my speed."

The fact that the VIPER position allows Odenigbo some freedom as well as offers him a chance to play the roles of both linebacker and defensive end at various times is something that seems to be really helping Ohio State's case right now.

"If Ohio State had just offered me as a defensive end, I don't think I would be as high on them as I am now," he explained. "I really, really like this VIPER position. I feel like I can fit into the position. Like with being an outside linebacker in a 3-4, you're really just coming off the edge. With the VIPER position I feel like I can do a little bit of everything."

After having a chance to see what practice was all about and learn more about the position that Ohio State is recruiting him for, Odenigbo came away with an even higher opinion of the Buckeyes than he previously had.

"After visiting Ohio State it really changed my mind about them," Odenigbo said. "Decision time is going to be really tough. The schools that it's probably going to come down to are Stanford, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. I am going to visit schools like Michigan State, Michigan, and Illinois, too. Some of those schools might be a factor but I just don't know as much about them right now."

Originally Odenigbo was hoping to possibly have a decision made before the high school football season gets started in the fall. However, with new schools entering the mix almost daily and the fact that he has never been to a live college football game, the big pass rusher is now likely to take some more time, make a few summer visits, and catch some games in the fall.

"I'm going out to Stanford on June 20th," he explained. "That's a school that I have wanted to visit. I also want to go to Notre Dame with my parents and then I'll probably visit Ohio State those are the three leading schools. There are other schools that I will visit as well. It's not like I'm not interested in them, I just don't know a lot about the other schools right now. I've never been to a college football game before so I'll probably wait until at least the beginning of the season so I can start going to some college football games because (game day atmosphere) will also factor into my decision."


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