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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Ike Irabor, RB, Union College

Ike Irabor the standout running back for Union College recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
Ike Irabor the standout running back for Union College recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Ike Irabor
  • Position: RB
  • College: Union College (NY)
  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 200 lbs 
  • Twitter: @Mr_Icy_1
  • Instagram: @ike_irabor  

1.What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

Being a football player has been something I have always wanted to be. As a kid, my favorite sport has always been football, but my mom was scared of all the potential risks that came with playing the sport so I played basketball and soccer up until freshman year of high school where I first signed up to play football. The reason I decided to be a football player is that every time I step on that field I always feel like I belong there and nothing can change that feeling whether or not I have a bad play or a great play I have always felt like I was built to play football.

2. What are your favorite things about playing football for Union?

My favorite things about playing at Union have to be the players and coaching staff. I felt welcome the moment I got on campus. The players quickly became my family, and the coach always does their best to make time to help their players on and off the field. So I guess my favorite thing about this team is that we are all family. Also, the training staff always has the player’s best interest in mind to keep us healthy and game-ready.

3. What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?

I would say that the energy that I bring to the field is silent and sudden. In the sense that I won’t say word the whole game but rather my presence is felt in the actions I take. I’m the type of player that likes to drown out all the noise and focus on what the next play brings. The energy that I bring is quiet, confidence, positive, and while I may not be as vocal as some of the other players on the field, my presence is felt just the same.

4. If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

I would love to hang out with Saquon Barkley. He is a great player and still pretty new to the league, and as a running back myself I feel like I can learn a lot from him about his experience that he has had playing football and what drives him on that field.

5. What is your favorite workout?

I would have to say squats or trap bar deadlift and jumps. Mainly because that’s where strength and speed come from. So I like those workouts to keep my legs strong and explosive for when I’m on the field.

6. What is a moment that improved you as a football player?

I think my transition from high school to college football improved me as a player overall. In high school football, I tend to make extra moves when trying to find open gaps and holes, but now I’ve learned to become more patient as a runner and let my blocks set up.

7. What should we know about Ike Irabor the person?

Firstly, I’m a man of God. I grew up around a church and my Christian faith is a large part of my life. My faith helps me in all aspects of my life. Secondly, I love spending time with my family and friends. Other things that I enjoy are playing the drums and watching anime.

8. How do you prepare for games?

In the week leading to game day, I like to make sure that my body is physically ready to perform. So I like to focus on recovery to get myself game ready. Adding on to that I like to mentally prepare through film and focusing on our game plan throughout the week. 

9.What are your favorite moments from your football life?

My favorite from my football career has to be the Ithaca game my sophomore year. Just for background purposes, my freshman year we played them on our home field and destroyed us, and years prior they have consistently beat us a year to year. Now fast forward to my sophomore year playing Ithaca I was pretty nervous going into it, with that being said I had the best game of my life, but the thing that made it my favorite moment was seeing all the seniors faces after years of losing to Ithaca now finally beating them on there home field. That was a great moment that will forever live with me as I play this game.

10. What would a team get in a player like you?

From an athletic standpoint what I would bring to a team would be my ability to win in open space, adapt to running lanes quickly, and understand defensive movements. I am also very coachable, as well as I am a leader through my actions and not my words on and off the field.

11. What are you looking forward to in your upcoming season?

I am really looking forward to being back on the field with my teammates to pick up where we left off in 2019. With COVID closing everything this past year and a bit more normalcy will create a lot of peace of mind, and with college football games starting up again there should be big crowds in the stands watching this year.

12. What do you love about the game of football?

I feel like football is more than just a game. What I love about it is the number of people that I have been able to meet, It taught me how to interact with people. It taught me how to carry myself as a student-athlete. The lessons I have learned in football have also helped me in life. 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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