Ifeadi Odenigbo (if-AH-dee o-DEN-uh-bo) came to Northwestern as one of the top recruits in the country, even though as the son of Nigerian immigrants he didn't participate in football until his sophomore year of high school. Statistically, Odenigbo made an impact as a pass-rushing specialist in his first three years, bringing down the quarterback 13.5 times among his 29 tackles in 36 games from 2013-2015. He may have made a similar impact as a true freshman in 2012, but redshirted after suffering a season-ending injury in the opener. Odenigbo bulked up for his senior year, allowing him to garner honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades (22 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two forced fumbles). He even got to play against his younger brother, Tito, who is a rising junior defensive tackle for Illinois.
Burly build with good power in his lower half and grown-man strength in his play. Bonafide "Mr. Bull-rush" off the edge. Bends knees into contact to work under a tackle's pads. Will land a long-arm stab or a two-hand push and then drive from his hips to walk tackles back into the quarterback. Began to flash an effective counter-spin back inside once he hit the top of his rush arc. Has the play strength to reduce inside as a rusher and fight through redirect blocks on the edge. Needs technique work, but has the strength to battle at the point of attack as run defender.
Used primarily as a pass rushing specialist. Career production against the run was disappointing. Needs to learn how to set a stronger edge to help contain against the run. Allows tight ends to stay connected to him for too long as blockers. Missing stride length and upfield burst to carry him up and around the corner as a rusher. Very limited selections on his pass rush menu. Too content to sustain a bull rush rather than improve his standing with coordinated effort between his feet and hands.
He's not a skilled pass rusher, but his power and developing spin move are traits worth working with. Odenigbo produced a quarterback pressure rate higher than Sam Hubbard, Taco Charlton and Garrett Sickels. Odenigbo will need to prove he can handle some run-stopping duties or sticking around for very long could be tough since he's not a classic edge-bending specialist.