June 5, 2011

Bucks still an option for Odenigbo?

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While the resignation of Jim Tressel hasn't cost the Buckeyes any of their verbal commitments at this point, one of the main concerns will be trying to maintain ground with all of the uncommitted targets. In Ohio, one of the top priorities for the Buckeyes has been Centerville linebacker/defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect was in Columbus this weekend participating in the State track finals where his 4x200 relay team finished third. BuckeyeGrove.com was there to catch up with one of the state's top athletes and get the latest on his recruitment.

"My top schools right now would be Stanford, Ohio State, Cal, Notre Dame, and Northwestern," said Odenigbo.

Last Monday's news that head coach Jim Tressel was stepping down brought out the same reaction from Odenigbo as it did from many people around the nation.

"I was really shocked, I didn't see it coming whatsoever," he explained. "I thought he was going to stick it out so it really caught me off guard but fortunately I know the new head coach, Luke Fickell. He's been recruiting me for linebacker."

Odenigbo's relationship with Fickell is one of the main reasons why the Buckeyes are still a viable option for the big time pass rusher.

"My relationship with him is pretty well," he said. "I speak to him at least every other week and we had a talk about two days ago about coach Tressel. He just told me that coach Tressel isn't Ohio State and that everything is still going to be the same, there's just a new person calling the shots."

Over the weekend, many of Centerville's football players were on the Ohio State campus participating in the track and field championships. Though Odenigbo competes in different events than future Buckeye Michael Bennett, they still push each other to do better just like they would on the football field.

"He takes me to school every day so we just talk about track, football, all kinds of stuff" Odenigbo said. "He motivates me and just seeing him throw the shot and discus that far just motivates me to be a better athlete when I run."

Odenigbo's second experience at the state meet was good one as his 4x200 relay team barely creeped into the finals and then had a great run on Saturday to finish third.

"It was a great experience," he said. "This is my second year at state. Last year I anchored our 4x100 team and fortunately we broke our school record but unfortunately we didn't make the Finals."


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