ellitor

2018 3* Buck Richard Jibunor

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Athens, GA (Athens Christian) by way of Nigeria

Ht 6-4 Wt 206

247 Profile

Offers include AU, Bama, Vols, Louisville, UNC

AU offered last Summer & RJ is believed to be a top LB target

Edited by ellitor

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WOW...He's a junior?  6-4 and not skinny, nor a lineman body.   He passes the 't-shirt test' - a physical specimen 

 

Edited by Beaker

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10 hours ago, Beaker said:

WOW...He's a junior?  6-4 and not skinny, nor a lineman body.   He passes the 't-shirt test' - a physical specimen 

 

Agree. He looks much bigger than 204 pounds, especially being 6'4"

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We can haz a Kam Chancellor? I know, I know. 

Hard to tell much from the highlights, given the competition, but yeah you gotta love the metrics, and he seems very fond of contact. Intriguing prospect.

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Mabel a common bond of Nigeria with the Princes might help the situation? 

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6 minutes ago, AlaskanFAN said:

Mabel a common bond of Nigeria with the Princes might help the situation? 

Seems part of it.

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RJ is tagged in a VIP article on AU 247 with the title "Priority Recruit to Visit again Next Week". He visited also 2 weeks ago for the first Spring practice FWIW.

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This kid could be special.  Hope we sign him.  Lots of upside with him.

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Quote

 

Nigerian linebacker Richard Jibunor narrows in on favorites with Auburn in safe position

Richard Jibunor tries to call his mother at least once a day.

Sometimes it takes some schedule-bending — with the time difference between Athens, Ga., and Nigeria — but it’s a necessary piece of daily therapy for Jibunor. He calls to catch up on school, family, church, life and, of course, Jibunor’s blossoming recruitment.

“I talk to her every day. The time difference here is about six hours. I get to call her a few times when school is out. Over the weekend we spend three hours on the phone just goofing around,” Jibunor said. “I left her at such a young age, and she’s not getting phone calls of me in trouble. She’s getting calls of good news and what the future has, so the whole recruiting process is a good thing. It’s a good feeling.”

To help her son escape religious crisis, Jibunor’s mother found Athens Christian School through a foreign exchange program when he was 14 years old. He left before his freshman year of high school and hasn’t been able to return to see his parents or younger brother.

Much has changed since then.

Jibunor has become a high-priority target for all the top schools in the Southeast. Recruitment for this 6-foot-4, 206-pound linebacker kicked off the summer between his freshman and sophomore years — before he’d ever played a competitive down of football — when he started his camp tour.

In short order, Jibunor launched to the top of recruiting boards for Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and others. He can rep 285 pounds on bench press with ease and feels slighted when a 40-yard dash time only shows a 4.5 or 4.6 on his first run. Now a 3-star prospect in 247Sports’ composite rankings, Jibunor is a linebacker coach’s dream.

Two coaches, in particular, stick out the most to Jibunor when he talks about his process.

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Auburn DE/LB target Richard Jibunor (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

“I have a very close relationship with coach T-Will (Auburn LB coach Travis Williams). Coach Jeremy Pruitt from Alabama. Those two guys, I’m in a really good relationship with them so far,” Jibunor said. “Everybody is telling me how much they love me. Alabama checks on me a lot. Auburn checks on me a lot.”

Jibunor is the No. 728 overall prospect in the nation in the 247 rankings, but that’s a deceiving number.

He hasn’t been evaluated as long as many other prospects. The better sign of Jibunor’s ability is the clout of the specific programs — Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, etc. — that covet him. Jibunor is impressed with the pitch from all the schools, but he knows it’s time to start narrowing his options. He wants to have a final decision before his senior season.

He’s starting to get a better idea of his favorites — with Auburn near the top.

“I’m really hoping to make my decision. I’m trying to get my recruitment over. It’s a lot. I’m really hoping to make my commitment before my senior year,” Jibunor said. “I feel like I’m getting to the point where I’m figuring out one of the schools I might land, but I haven’t really decided where yet. I just have a few schools where I really feel a lot of love from and really like the campus.”

Relationship with Auburn coaches stands out

Jibunor will return to the Plains this week for his second unofficial visit of the month. He visited for Auburn’s junior day on March 4. He’ll have more personalized time with Williams and the rest of Auburn’s staff when he comes back.

The Tigers have already started to establish themselves as the perceived leaders, even though Jibunor doesn’t want to name any specific schol at this time.

“I know I like Auburn a lot. Anytime I step on a campus, I always feel great, but especially at Auburn,” Jibunor said. “Every time I step to Auburn, I feel like a champion. I feel like that’s the place for me. I still have to take my time, but for now I really like Auburn.”

Unlike most places, Auburn recruits Jibunor with more than just a position coach. Sure, Williams leads the charge for the Tigers, but he’s not the only one. In fact, plenty of the Auburn coaches have tried to, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, lure Jibunor away from the linebacker position.

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Auburn LB coach Travis Williams (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

Defensive line coach Rodney Garner was one of the first to try it. Jibunor came to Auburn for a camp more than a year ago and all of the coaches were blown away by his raw athletic ability. Garner wanted to test Jibunor’s skill set as a pass rusher.

“Coach Garner took me to defensive ends to go up against some big offensive linemen who are now big recruits in the nation. I went against them with no moves or anything. But it was fun, and I did pretty good. Since then, coach Garner has always told me he wants me to play defensive end,” Jibunor said.

Auburn coaches talked with Jibunor about safety, linebacker, Buck defensive end, even tight end and wide receiver. But Jibunor knows linebacker or pass rusher is his calling, which is why he regularly studies the tape of his NFL idol Von Miller.

Because of his position, Williams is the primary recruiter for Jibunor, as has been the case with most linebackers for the past two seasons. With his family still in Nigeria, Jibunor regularly searches for father figures and role models in his daily life, so that he can replicate that behavior to younger players at Athens Christian.

Williams is prime example No. 1, Jibunor said. His take on Auburn’s linebacker coach is a must-read.

“Trying to be a better man and working hard to become better, I see T-Will as a symbol of hard work,” Jibunor said. “For his size, to play at the college level and do what he did and have the ability to go pro. That’s an example of hard work. That’s not something that’s common for someone that size. He worked hard. When he tells you things, he’s not telling you what he thinks. He tells you what he knows.”

Special home feeling

People who visit Auburn like to talk about the family environment.

For Jibunor, it’s not literal, but it makes sense why it feels that way. There’s the connection with coaches, but it’s more than that. Jibunor doesn’t get to see much of his native Nigeria. He reconnects with the culture through music, which is what he listens to most during workouts and before games.

But there still isn’t much Nigeria in his daily life.

When he visits Auburn, that changes thanks to a familiar face — Prince Tega Wanogho.

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Auburn offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

Jibunor knew the Auburn offensive lineman before either left Nigeria, and he got to know Wanogho better once it became clear both would pursue college football. Jibunor relishes having that friendship on the Plains, which gives him a comfort with Auburn he doesn’t share many other places.

“Going to Auburn, I needed a place where I had a strong relationship with coaches and knew people. With Auburn, Tega has been there. They treat him well and everything. I went to the camp, and coaches told me how great Tega was doing. It was awesome because everything he was telling me was the same as what Tega was telling me, so I knew it was real,” Jibunor said. “He tells me everything that goes on. He’s someone who is like a big brother for me. It’s been years. We’ve known each other for a long time.”

 

 

Edited by ellitor
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Re: that article, +1 to @AlaskanFAN :

On 3/13/2017 at 10:50 AM, AlaskanFAN said:

Mabel a common bond of Nigeria with the Princes might help the situation? 

 

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Watching his hilights he looks like a collision looking for a place to happen. And heaven forbid if you happen to be there when he gets there.

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Maybe Auburn can reconstitute the nickname, "The Nigerian Nightmare" ala Christian Okoye.  I loved how he played with passion (most of the time).  

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Quick 4 minute audio clip

Quote

Evaluation and recruitment breakdown

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This kid I think is going to be the biggest steal. He has so much potential. 

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2 hours ago, AlaskanFAN said:

This kid I think is going to be the biggest steal. He has so much potential. 

I just hope he is a steal for the Orange & Blue

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2 hours ago, corchjay said:

Ran a 4.71 at the Atlanta Opening which is flying

Especially on a slow field.

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Jibunor's Journey

 

Quote

 

Today, Richard Jibunor, the 4-star linebacker/buck end at Athens Christian (Ga.), is a nationally known recruit. Two years ago, he had never even strapped on a helmet.

A native of Nigeria, Jibunor arrived in Georgia as a ninth-grader.

Admittedly, “the first semester of my freshman year was very hard,” he recalled.

The good news?

In Athens, “Everybody made me feel at home and feel so welcome,” he noted.

In the spring of his freshman year, Jibunor decided to give football a try.

“I had seen some movies about football, but that is all I knew about it,” Jibunor said. “The first time I arrived in Georgia was the first time I saw football with my eyes and I was like, ‘This stuff is weird. What is this?’”

That first day of practice wasn’t easy. Far from. To say the least, he was a bit lost. And his equipment felt awkward.

“I was just running and that helmet was hurting my head the whole time,” Jibunor said, laughing.

He quickly adjusted and learned the game. Today, the 6-feet-3, 206-pound Jibunor is a 4-star recruit — and a major Tigers target.

Auburn is a program that stands out. Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee are the others.

In this podcast interview, Jibunor recaps his move to the United States and goes in-depth on his recruitment.

 

 

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He may not end up at AU or turn out to be much but I dig this cat's athleticism and potential!

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This guy should be on our board by now. What is the deal? Seems like every year for us we keep getting told by pay sites so and so player will jump on board soon for AU and it never happens.

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5 hours ago, GwillMac6 said:

This guy should be on our board by now. What is the deal? Seems like every year for us we keep getting told by pay sites so and so player will jump on board soon for AU and it never happens.

We do seem to have a lot of guys that 'almost commit' this time of year. 

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