August 7, 2009

Four-star DE has four visits planned

PAISLEY, Fla. - The recent FBU Top Gun Camp in Paisley, Fla. had loads of talent, including four five-star prospects. Portland (Ore.) David Douglas defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa was also there and though he is not a five-star prospect, as a four-star and the No. 19 player in the country, he is about as close as it gets to earning that fifth star. He made no secret that his appearance at the camp was an attempt to snag that highest classification.

"Honestly, I was looking for a fifth star," Odighizuwa said of his expectations for the camp. "I came into this just being humble and working my hardest and seeing what happens."

With a strong performance at the camp, the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder certainly made a case for that final upgrade. Among a group of defensive linemen that included five-stars J.R. Ferguson, Sharrif Floyd and Ronald Powell as well as four-star Gabe King, Odighizuwa was unanimously voted the top defensive lineman at the event by the Rivals.com staff in attendance.

"I think it was a really good group of people here because there's five defensive linemen in the top 30 on Rivals and it was just great being around them and seeing what they do."

Though the group was elite and the competition was intense, Odighizuwa did not simply bring it strong because of the players around him. He made it clear that he brings it strong regardless of who is lining up next to him.

The athletic lineman proved that on the final day of the camp when the majority of the big-name players were sitting out with injuries or fatigue, while Odighizuwa kept fighting through the brutal heat.

"I don't know if [the surrounding talent] necessarily makes my game higher or lower because whenever I play, I try to go every time," he said. "I guess it could help me motivate myself but I go hard anyway. Even if they're not there, I'm going hard."

That mentality and toughness is one of the reasons why Odighizuwa is one of the nation's most heavily recruited prospects. With numerous options nationally, there are still several schools that he is considering. However, he has already zeroed in on four schools for official visits.

"I like Cal, Florida, USC, UCLA, Oregon State, Oregon, Nebraska and Stanford," he said. "I've told four schools that I'm coming for official visits so I'm working on that last one."

The four official visits that Odighizuwa has lined up are Florida, California, USC and UCLA. Though he clearly has a high interest in all four schools, he is not ready to name them as his finalists yet.

"I mean, it's not really guaranteed that just because you're taking visits that they're in your top group but financially and everything else, it's just the best way to go out and see the schools," he said. "I'm seeing if that's a school that I want to keep looking at. I don't want to say that it's a permanent thing though just because I'm visiting them."

As the fall extends and his decision draws closer, there are a few things that the big lineman will be keeping in mind.

"I'm looking at people I can surround myself with for four or five years and just somebody I can say I'm proud to play for," he said. "The academics is real important to me. The football is going to be there regardless so academics pulls a lot of weight for when football is done."

With plans to take all five official visits, Odighizuwa is in no hurry to make a decision.




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