Back in March, I wrote an article about how it looked like the Tigers were close to landing Richard Jibunor. They didn’t. Over the summer, I frequently speculated that Jibunor might end up Auburn’s next commit. He wasn’t. Instead, the 4* athlete decided to take his time with his decision and visit multiple schools before pulling the trigger. The battle eventually came down to Auburn, Florida and Tennessee. Once the Gators and Vols imploded it all but sealed the deal for the Tigers. And today, Jibunor’s commitment watch has finally come to an end.
Jibunor’s story is fascinating. If you haven’t already read Benjamin Wolk’s story on him from earlier this summer, I highly encourage you to do so. It will make you even more excited about landing this explosive athlete. This young man came to America at the age of 14 years old without his family and having never played football. Now he’s a nationally ranked recruit, holding offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina. That’s pretty awesome. Most every reporter when writing about Jibunor can’t help but mention his upbeat personality and infectious smile. More than anything, I feel confident in saying that Jibunor will be a huge addition to Auburn’s locker room next season.
Multiple. That’s the first word that comes to mind when watching Jibunor’s film. He does pretty much everything for his high school team and he does it at a high level. However, Auburn will most likely start him off at the Buck spot where I think he fits best. What jumps out when watching him at the LB position is his closing speed. He does a great job of locating the ball, closing fast and then making a very rude introduction to the ball carrier. His pad level could use some work and he will need to get a bit bigger to play the Buck but all the tools are there to be extremely successful. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up playing the traditional linebacker spot either or even switch over to offense and play TE. Bottom line is Auburn will find a spot to use his athleticism and I think he has a great chance to be an impact player down the road.
Unfortunately his senior tape isn’t out yet so these are highlights from last year. I am very interested in seeing how he has improved over his final season of high school football.
Jibunor is Auburn’s 16th commitment of the cycle. The Tigers are also creeping closer to a top 10 class. Jibunor will also give Auburn their third Nigerian native on the team in 2018 joining Prince Tega Wanagho (close friend of Jibunor’s) and Prince Sammons. What’s interesting is Auburn might add a fourth in 3* DE Kayode Oladele who is trending to the Tigers and might commit in December. Not a bad pipeline to be building.
I expect we see Jibunor take a similar route to Wangho for playing time. I would not be surprised to see him redshirt in 2018 so he can put on some weight before becoming a special teams player in 2019. By his third year on campus, I fully expect Jibunor to be an important part of Auburn’s defensive rotation and honestly wouldn’t be shocked if he found his way onto the field earlier. This is a kid that won an MVP at two different positions at two of the premier prospect camps this summer. Dude’s a competitor and has an incredibly bright future for the Tigers.
War Eagle Richard and Happy Thanksgiving everybody!