Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is a go-getter, and despite his slight stature (5’10”, 190 lbs) isn’t afraid to make his presence felt on the gridiron. The Pac-12 got a nice dose of his ball-hawking and ball-stripping skills in 2012 while he had one of the best seasons in recent memory for an Oregon defensive back, tallying four interceptions (Pac-12 leading), 20 passes defended, and six forced fumbles. He was recognized as a 1st team All Pac-12 corner, and a 3rd-team All-American by the Associated Press.
Ifo’s numbers were outstanding across the board, all during his first year as a starter. This has garnered him a great deal of attention on preseason awards watch lists and from NFL draft analysts, but Ifo must produce at a similar level in 2013 to push his draft stock into the first round. He’s knocked by some analysts for a lack of top-end speed, but he more than makes up for it with an aggressive nature, going after jump balls and jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage. His strong hands give him a knack for causing fumbles. If Ifo can reproduce his 2012 production and show that it wasn’t an enigma, he could be a potential first-round prospect in 2014 or 2015.
Ifo has two years of eligibility remaining. Hopefully Duck fans will get the opportunity to watch him and his fellow-junior Terrence Mitchell lock down opposing wide receivers for another two years; though don’t be surprised if one (or both) declare for the draft in 2014. Anybody have a good nickname for the pair?