IFEATU MELIFONWU | Syracuse | CB | #23 | rJr | 6025 | 212 | Grafton, MA | Grafton | 05.02.99
The brother of NFL Combine star, Obi Melifonwu, Ifeatu isn’t an athletic specimen, but he is the better player of the two. Possessing the size/length combo the NFL covets from corners, Melifonwu has developed into one of the top cornerbacks in the ACC. Has impeccable press-man abilities where he utilizes excellent patience to mirror releases, then uses his length to disrupt timing for wide receivers. Capable of playing away from the line of scrimmage with notable short-area quickness driving downhill on throws and hip flexibility to transition when his leverage is taken away. Inconsistent eye discipline leaves him susceptible to coverage bust when diagnosing route concepts and has a tendency to stare at the quarterback in man coverage. Doesn’t allow himself to consistently tap into his short-area quickness due to playing too high, showing a lack of attention to detail when playing away from the line of scrimmage. Has enough athleticism to stay at cornerback and not worry about being moved to safety. Day 2 abilities when locked in; has the movement skills to stick as a future starter at the NFL level in a heavy press-man scheme. Durability concerns could be one issue as he has dealt with various minor ailments.
Raised in the Worcester, Massachusetts area. Three-star recruit according to 247Sports. Economics major. Academic standout. Redshirt. Played in nine games, missing four due to injury as a freshman. Started 8 of 9 games played as a sophomore. Started 10 games during his junior season. Four siblings. Brother played football at UConn and is now in the NFL. Played basketball, lacrosse and track in high school. Dealt with ankle and hamstring issues (2019). Strong character. Comes from a good family.
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