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After only playing about 20 snaps as a sophomore for the Centerville Elks, Ifeadi Odenigbo exploded on the scene as a junior as he racked up 10.5 sacks and 40 tackles on his way to becoming one of the most-feared pass rushers in the Greater Western Ohio Conference.
Opposing coaches took notice early of his freakish abilities and start double-teaming him with regularity. The junior responded and showed vast improvement along the way.
College coaches have taken notice too. Odenigbo is now over 20 offers and has emerged as one of the top 2012 defensive prospects in the entire nation. His includes the likes of Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Cincinnati and Oklahoma.
“A lot of them started happening after signing day,” Odenigbo said of his offers.
It’s hard to believe considering that he never played football in his entire life until he was a sophomore. Odenigbo played club soccer during his youth and excelled at track in recent years. His parents did not allow him to play football earlier in his life, fearing the dangers associated with the sport. That all changed when the Centerville football staff visited him prior to his sophomore year as Odenigbo convinced his mom and dad that it was time to play football.
He only had a couple offers under his belt in December, but those numbers have skyrocketed quickly. To this point he attended Junior Days at Cincinnati, Ohio State, and Notre Dame and plans more visits ahead.
The Elks’ defender has made it clear that academics will play a major factor in his decision. He is considering going pre-med to follow in his mother’s footsteps as a doctor or perhaps economics.
“I can’t really say a have a top five because I am just really blessed and I never thought I would be in this situation,” the junior claimed. “Right now I am looking at Northwestern, Ohio State, Stanford and Notre Dame, but it is going to change when I start visiting schools like Michigan, Michigan State and Illinois.”
Before getting to the next level Odenigbo has some work to do.
“Last year I played around 205 so they told me to work hard in the weight room make sure I am gaining more weight,” Odenigbo said of his feedback from college coaches. “My emphasis for next year is to not get pushed around and being more run supportive.”
With only three starters returning on defense, Centerville will count on Odenigbo to be the leader up front.
FINAL TAKE: Odenigbo has abilities that can’t be taught. The fact he has been a quick learner as well has only bolstered his stock. Expect him to be a First-Team All-State candidate and be one of the most highly recruited prospects in the state of Ohio’s 2012 class by time it is all said and done. He is a big reason that Centerville will be amongst the teams favored to win the GWOC Central and to contend for a Region 4 playoff spot. The senior-to-be is a must-see player on Friday nights this fall.
--Rivals.com Profile (QueenCityHigh.com)
--YouTube: Highlight Video
--TSF: Up Close Video Interview (YouTube.com)
Dan Clasgens is a co-founder of TSF and serves as the President/Director of Media & Content for our parent company, GetSports Enterprises LLC. In addition to nearly a decade of experience in covering local high school football, Dan is a widely recognized as a fantasy football guru. He is both a local and national radio personality, including hosting a weekly show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.