7 James Ihedigbo
Name is pronounced: ee-HEAD-ee-BO
BUCHANAN AWARD CANDIDATE AS TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER.
WALTER CAMP ALL-AMERICAN
SPORTS NETWORK 1-AA/FCS FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICAN
COLLEGE SPORTING NEWS ALL-STAR FIRST TEAM
DON HANSEN'S FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN
DON HANSEN ALL-NORTHEAST REGION FIRST TEAM
ATLANTIC 10 FIRST-TEAM DEFENSIVE BACK
NEW ENGLAND FOOTBALL WRITERS ALL-STAR TEAM
Senior captain who has started at strong safety for the last three seasons. Tremendous leader with tenacity which shows with his great blitzing ability. A candidate for A-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 2006.
Had 72 tackles to rank sixth on the team along with 5.5 TFLs, 5.0 sacks, four forced fumbles (topped in Atlantic 10), eight pass break-ups and three interceptions. Tied for eighth in pick-offs in the A-10.
Had 12.5 sacks over his last 26 games.
Made six tackles and had an interception in NCAA Final vs. Appalachian State (12/15).
Four tackles at #2 Montana (12/8) and UMass held Griz to 250 yards with just 67 in second half.
Made five tackles vs. #9 UNH (12/2) in NCAA Quarterfinal.
His interception and 59-yard return vs. Lafayette (11/25) in NCAA First Round sealed the win, along with three tackles.
Notched four tackles and break-up vs. Hofstra (11/18).
Eight tackles including a sack for nine yards vs. #19 Maine (11/11). Also caught a 17-yard pass on a fake punt play.
Four tackles and a blitzing sack on Ricky Santos at #9 New Hampshire (11/4).
Preserved UMass rain-soaked win at Northeastern (10/28) with two plays in final quarter. Stopped Maurice Murray for no gain on 4-and-1 from UMass 8-yard line. Intercepted first pass of year with 1:40 left in regulation to save win.
Made seven tackles for second week in a row vs. URI (10/21).
At Towson (10/14), made seven tackles, had a sack for 12 yards and forced fourth fumble of the season.
Named to Buchanan Award Watch List on Oct. 11.
Three tackles and 0.5 TFL vs. William & Mary (10/7).
Third forced fumble of the season and four tackles vs. Stony Brook (9/23).
Three tackles and two pass break-ups at Villanova (9/16) including 200th career tackle.
Honored as UMass/Dinn Brothers Athlete of Week on Sept. 11.
Named A-10 Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 10.
Made eight tackles including six solo, also had two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a 5-yard sack on the first defensive play of the game at Navy (9/9).
Opened 2006 season with five tackles including a sack for eight yards, a TFL and a pass break-up vs. Colgate (9/2).
Named to 2005 Third Team All-Atlantic 10 Conference after leading UMass' nation-leading scoring defense (13.3 ppg).
In `05, ranked second in the A-10 and 24th in the nation in sacks per game at 0.73 with 7.5 in 11 games. Was also 30th in the nation in tackles for loss with 12.5 for 1.33 per game.
Started first nine games and had 52 tackles (45 solo) in 2004.
Received Vic Fusia Award as the team's most improved defensive player in 2003 season.
COMPLETE BIO ON MEDIA GUIDE PAGE 60.
On Ihedigbo: Team captain as a senior ... Explosive strong safety "who will be a candidate for A-10 Defensive Player of the Year" according to Coach Brown ... Tremendous blitzer as one of the best at getting into an opponent's backfield ... Returning starter for the Minutemen who has an outstanding motor ... Plays great around the line of scrimmage ... Comes off a tremendous spring football season ... A leader in the secondary ... Versatile player who spent most of 2003 season at free safety ... A local product from Amherst ... Name is pronounced: E-head-dee-BOO.
As A Redshirt Junior In 2005:
Named to the Atlantic 10 Third Team ... Key to UMass' nation-leading scoring defense and No. 3 ranked total defense ... Starting strong safety (rover) for second year in a row ... Ranks second in the A-10 and tied for 24th in the country in sacks per game (0.73) and 30th in nation TFL average (1.33 per game) ... Led the Atlantic 10 in sacks for the first eight weeks of the season ... Third in the league in total sacks with 7.5 for 53 yards ... Led UMass in sacks and tackles for loss ... Ranked in top five in league in tackles for loss with 12 for 60 yards coming on blitzing situations ... Also had two interceptions for 12 yards ... Had 58 total tackles - to rank third on the team -- about one-fourth of his tackles for loss of yardage ... Also has five pass-break-ups and two interceptions for 12 yards ... Nine tackles at Hofstra (11/19) ... Six tackles at Army (11/12) ... Four tackles and a pass break-up at Delaware (11/5) ... Seven tackles including TFL on second play of the game after pass break-up pressure on first play of game vs. New Hampshire (10/29) ... Defensive Player of the Game at Maine (10/22) with eight tackles, an interception return for 12 yards, a sack for eight yards, a TFL for eight yards and a key forced fumble in the third quarter leading to the game-sealing TD ... Five tackles vs. No. 4 James Madison (10/15) as UMass limited JMU to 61 passing yards and 157 total yards ... Picked up fifth career interception vs. Northeastern (10/8), along with two tackles, both for loss of yards including a nine-yard sack ... Continued successful blitzing with a sack for nine yards and 1.5 TFL in win over Rhode Island (9/24) ... Had five tackles, including two half-tackles for loss and a half-sack for four yards vs. Albany (9/17) ... Posted two sacks for second game in a row (for 18 yards) and had four tackles for a loss of 22 yards and five total tackles at Colgate (9/10).
As A Redshirt Sophomore In 2004: Game-By-Game Statistics
Local product who started nine games making 52 tackles (45 solo) at strong safety after playing mostly free safety in 2003 ... Ranked sixth on the team in total tackles ... Season-best nine tackles, all solo, at New Hampshire (10/16) ... Had eight tackles, six solo vs. Maine (10/30), playing against high school mate RB Marcus Williams ... Had six tackles including 1.5 tackles for loss at Rhode Island (10/23) ... Had a key fumble recovery late in fourth quarter against the Rams ... Six tackles, five solo, vs. Delaware (9/25) ... Had six tackles and a pass break-up vs. Colgate (9/11) ... Had four tackles, including 100th career tackle, at James Madison (10/9) ... Five tackles, three solo, and a pass break up at Boston College (10/2).
As A Redshirt Freshman In 2003: Game-By-Game Statistics
One of the top defensive backs for the Minutemen ... Received the Vic Fusia Award, as the team's most improved defensive player ... Saw action in 12 games, making 10 starts ... Totaled 74 tackles on the year, including 56 solo stops and three tackles for loss ... Tied for second on the team with four interceptions, while also posting four pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles ... Totaled eight tackles, two interceptions and a pass breakup in the win over Hofstra, including a key interception in the final minute to secure the victory ... Named Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week following the Hofstra game ... Recorded 10 total tackles and a fumble recovery in the win over Northeastern ... Posted 10 total tackles (including seven solo stops) and a pass breakup in the victory at Villanova ... Totaled nine tackles, including eight solo stops and a tackle for loss, in addition to breaking up a pass at Delaware ... Recorded eight tackles (including seven solo stops and a tackle for loss) at Colgate in the NCAA playoffs, in addition to returning a blocked punt 25 yards for a touchdown ... Had seven tackles and a forced fumble in the win over Richmond ... Made four solo tackles and broke up a pass in the victory over Rhode Island ... Had four tackles in the win at William & Mary ... Totaled three tackles with an interception and a fumble recovery in the victory over New Hampshire ... Had four tackles and an interception in the win over James Madison ... Recorded four total tackles and forced a fumble in the victory at Maine ... Made three tackles and recovered a fumble at Kansas State.
As A Freshman In 2002: Redshirted.
Before UMass: Played for coach Thomas Cullen at Amherst Regional High School ... Rushed for 1,012 yards and 18 touchdowns during his senior season, while totaling over 2,000 all-purpose yards ... Served as team captain as a senior, when he was also named team defensive MVP ... Two-time All-Western Massachusetts and All-League selection ... Helped team to Super Bowl championship during sophomore season ... Selected to play in the Shrine Chowder Classic Bowl ... Also a member of the basketball, lacrosse and track teams at Amherst Regional ... Earned All-County honors in basketball.
Personal: James Ugochu Ihedigbo ... Born December 3, 1983, in Northampton, Mass. ... Son of Rose Ihedigbo and the late Apollos Ihedigbo ... Has three brothers and one sister: Emeka, Nate, David, and Onyii ... Both parents attended UMass ... Majoring in Sociology.
CAREER STATISTICS (Defense)
Year GP UT AT TT Sacks TFL Int PBU
2003 12/10 56 18 74 0-0 3-9 4-0 4
2004 9/9 45 7 52 0-0 3-14 0-0 3
2005 11/11 33 25 58 7.5-53 12-60 2-12 5
2006 15/15 36 36 72 5-39 5.5-41 3-66 8
Totals 47/45 171 86 257 12.5-92 23.5-124 9-78 20
Tackles: 10 vs. Northeastern (11/1/03) & Villanova (10/25/03)
Interceptions: 2 vs. Hofstra (10/18/03)
Sacks: 2 at Richmond (9/1/05) & at Colgate (9/10/05)
Touchdowns: 1 block punt ret. for TD vs. Colgate (11/29/03)