In recruiting , the old adage ‘it ain’t over till it’s over’ could not be truer. With several major programs either on probation or looking at the very strong likelihood of penalties, there’s a virtual feeding frenzy surrounding verbally-committed players to these programs. Since Brian Kelly arrived in South Bend, Notre Dame has been very aggressive in continuing to recruit verbally committed players and have had some success. Last week, Irish Sports Daily spoke to a young man currently verbally committed to the embattled Southern Cal program. They also made the top five of one of the most highly-sought after defensive recruits in the nation. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Sports Daily?
Ifeadi Odenigbo, OLB, 6-4, 213, Centerville High School, Centerville, OH visited Notre Dame in February for the Irish’s Junior Day and left tremendously impressed. At the time, he promised to return with his parents. He hopes to fulfill that promise on July 26th when he plans to return with his family. He wants them to experience what he did in February.
“I’m planning on visiting Notre Dame on July 26th,” the Ohio standout commented. “As of right now, I’m about 90 percent sure that I will be making the trip, and my parents will be coming with me.”
Odenigbo clearly places a high value on education as evidenced by his top five and recent West Coast tour. He recently visited the University of California-Berkeley and Stanford. Along with Notre Dame, his other top schools are his home state school of Ohio State and Northwestern. His visits have given him much to consider and has forced him to delay any college decision.
“I have a feeling it’s still going to be a while until I make my decision,” he explained. “I was a little concerned that if I didn’t commit early and ended up getting injured, that all my scholarships might be pulled. I was able to speak to other top recruits and they said if you were borderline that could possibly happen, but I spoke to Wayne Lyons while I was at Stanford and he told me he tore his MCL his senior year of football and all of his scholarship offers still stood by him. That was even after he missed six weeks of football. With that being said I might take my time and make sure I make the right decision.”
Arik Armstead, DE, 6-6, 275, Pleasant Grove High School, Elk Grove, CA is currently a verbal commit to USC but he is still trying to sort through the recruiting process. Specifically, he is trying to determine which schools are being truthful with him and which ones aren’t. The issue of truthfulness surrounds Armstead’s desire to play basketball as well as football at the next level. He is rated as a high three-star recruit in basketball.
“The people who are seriously recruiting me for basketball and football are going to have the highest chance,” Armstead said. “I’m trying to figure out which ones are serious or not.”
Notre Dame definitely seems serious about allowing Armstead to do both.
“I’ve been talking to coach (Mike) Denbrock on Facebook and stuff,” said the talented Californian. “He said he’s been talking to the basketball program and my AAU coach went up there and talked to them too.”
Armstead’s teammate, Gabe York, was offered a scholarship to play basketball at Notre Dame. Before eliminating the Irish from contention, he accompanied Armstead’s AAU basketball coach to Notre Dame and came back and gave his friend and teammate a report on the campus.
“I talked to Gabe afterward, he said it was cool and he liked it.”
Armstead was hoping to make a trip to South Bend after an AAU basketball tournament in Indianapolis this weekend, but his father wasn’t able to come with him and he’ll have to wait until official-visit season to see Notre Dame up close.
Armstead’s brother Armond currently plays defensive line for USC and his parents were in South Bend for the 2009 Notre Dame-USC game.
“They said Notre Dame is real nice and it’s very historic and that’s what they liked about it,” explained Armstead. “I’m just trying to get a good feel of the campus and getting a better relationship with the coaching staff. Every place is going to have a beautiful campus.”
These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Sports Daily.