Name: Ifeatu Melifownu
Year: (Redshirt) Freshman
Hometown: South Grafton, Mass.
High School: Grafton
2017 Stats: Redshirted for the year, so no stats available.
2018 Projections: He’s already moved up to a second-string cornerback spot behind Chris Fredrick, after originally committing to the Syracuse Orange as a safety. Melifonwu could conceivably play either role — but in any case, he’s a rising name on the roster and among the first players to likely get a look if any starters are adjusted among the DBs.
How’d He Get Here: Michigan was interested late, but UMass was really the only other contender with an offer beyond Syracuse. We think he made the right choice.
What’d Recruiting Sites Say: Three stars all around.
Money Quote: As he shared with Syracuse.com, Ifeatu’s shot may be coming sooner rather than later — and he’s ready for it.
“Right when I got here, I definitely didn’t think I was ready (to play), but then after a couple weeks in camp I got moved up to a two. I already had it in my mind that I was redshirting, but I could see that if I didn’t redshirt, I had a chance to really get involved and play a role.”
Twitter feed: @Ifeatu_mel
Tweets of Wonder: Not much here, but he does cover a good amount of ground (helps that he’s 6-foot-3).
Working on getting out of breaks with @CuseFootball Redshirt Freshman Cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu. He’s a big Corner at 6’3 so pad level and dropping the hips on breaks are key. He’s making a lot of progress. pic.twitter.com/Bs4kmfcxZq— Coach Dunbar (@CoachDunbar_) March 16, 2018
What movie would Dino recommend for him?: Pulling from the name of Melifonwu’s hometown, South Grafton, “Graft” is a 1931 thriller that involves a murder, kidnapping plot and even a crooked election. Regis Toomey and Sue Carol play the leads. Boris Karloff (of monster movie fame) is also in the film, as “Terry.”
Interesting Nugget O’Interest: As you probably figured by the subheader, Ifeatu’s brother plays in the NFL. You may remember Obi Melifonwu, formerly of UConn? He was drafted in the second round by the Oakland Raiders, and apparently getting roasted by Amba Etta-Tawo in 2016 didn’t negatively impact his status at all.
Let’s Get a Good Look Atcha: Here’s some highlights, interspersed with some signing day hype.