April 18, 2011

Odenigbo set to visit

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As someone who has only been playing football for two years, Centerville's Ifeadi Odenigbo has had to learn and experience a lot of new things in his brief time on the gridiron. That trend will continue on Tuesday as Odenigbo is scheduled to be on Columbus watching an Ohio State spring practice. For the 6-foot-4, 210-pound defensive end/outside linebacker prospect, the visit will be the first time he's ever seen a college football team practice live.

"I'm just excited to see a college football team up close," Odenigbo explained. "I've really never been to a college football game so I just want to see like how they plan (practice) and how fast the tempo is."

Odenigbo will make the trip with Centerville head coach Ron Ullery and he is looking forward to getting a close look at one of the teams that currently sit atop his list.

"I got a couple (schools at the top) but that could all change because I plan on taking a lot of visits," he said. "My top schools right now would be Stanford, Notre Dame, Northwestern, and Ohio State."

By now, most people who have followed Odenigbo's recruitment know that his priorities may not exactly fall in line with the typical blue chip recruit. Even with all of the recent hype surrounding him, he remains focused on his number one priority, academics and it will be academics that plays the largest role in his final college choice.

"My parents have always taught me that school is first and sports are second," he explained. "I've always grown up with that motto.The way I look at it is, I never really expected to have the opportunity to play college football. In 10-15 years from now, maybe I'm playing in the NFL or maybe I'm just done with football so which is going to be the best? A great academic institute or a great football program? A great football program will last 4-5 years max but a great academic school will (help me) for the rest of my life and will carry on to my job later on down the road."

Great academic accomplishments run in Odenigbo's family, both parents come from humble beginnings and worked hard to educate themselves and were able to immigrate from their native Nigeria to provide themselves and their family with a better life.

"Both of my parents immigrated here and how they got to this country was through hard work and education," he said. "If you're not educated, you're not going to be able to support yourself."

Odenigbo has been squeezing as many college visits in as possible over the last few months but between keeping up with his studies and focusing on his track season, after the Ohio State trip, visits will be limited between now and the end of the school year.


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