Some of the earliest football advice Northwestern safety Godwin Igwebuike received was from his father, Leo, who told his son, then a peewee league player, to fly around the field.
He's followed his dad's advice ever since, and it showed on Saturday.
Igwebuike, one of the top safety prospects in the nation, was around the ball all night long in the Wildcats' 23-13 win over Purdue. He recorded three solo tackles and assisted on three others before breaking up a pass that was picked off to seal the victory in the final minute of the fourth quarter. It was the fifth straight win for Northwestern, which entered the game as the No. 25 team in the College Football Playoff rankings.
The fifth-year senior is a hard-hitting team captain for NU, but he's also one of the most eclectic players in college football. He paints in his free time and is the vocalist in a band. He breaks the jock stereotype, and he doesn't intend to change who he is as he prepares for the next level.
He's the NFL's next Renaissance man, but, as he made clear with his comments in this week's Back 2 Campus feature, football is his first love and primary focus. Leo, the second cousin of former All-Pro running back Christian Okoye, has been grooming his son for this moment since he was 6 years old.
With two more regular-season games and a bowl game to go, Igwebuike is in the final stretch of his NU career. He has a chance to be the school's earliest draft pick in more than a decade. No Wildcat player has been chosen earlier than Round 4 since 2005.