Ifo Ekpre-Olomu is nothing short of a stud. As the leader of a Duck secondary filled with guys who’ve been playing together for almost four years now, he’s spearheaded Oregon’s quick turnaround since the Arizona game. On top of his much-needed leadership and guidance for the younger guys, the senior also has the stress of the College Football Playoff and even the NFL Draft to worry about.
Today I got a chance to talk to Ekpre-Olomu at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex in an interview for FishDuck.com. I asked him how he’s handling all the stress. He told me he isn’t having trouble staying focused on the task at hand, saying, “If you think about ‘what if we win this and what if we win that’ you won’t be at your best in the moment.” He’s completely focused on Arizona, a team that he compliments for being so balanced. Regarding the defense, he said, “They have a lot of playmakers so everybody has to be on their ‘A’ game.”
He did say that the team is ready to turn its luck around, and that they’ve been preparing really hard all week. He said, “Playing against our own team has really helped us to prepare for a team like this because we spread the ball out so much.” Ekpre-Olomu said he is excited to play Arizona again. He mentioned, “You wanna play the team that beat you to get to the final four. I’m happy that we get to play them.”
Regarding the issues of people saying Arizona is the new Stanford in terms of Oregon’s ‘monkey on its back,’ Ekpre-Olomu said, “Not very many teams have beat us. You can’t really say that we have a monkey on our back.” Ifo does know that the team has a lot to prove, though, and he’s eager to meet the challenge.
Top Photo by Stephanie Baldwin