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For Jackson Memorial defensive lineman Eric Ibe, the chance to end his high school career on his terms is a welcome change after a senior year filled with adversity.

After a breakout junior year in which he tied for the Shore Conference lead in sacks and was a Third Team All-Shore selection, Ibe was set to dominate as a senior as the centerpiece of the Jaguars' defensive line. Instead, an injury knocked him out for a key four-week stretch in the middle of the season. And when he finally returned from an injury in Week 7, a bout with Covid forced him to miss the final game of the season.

"It definitely hurt because I was that guy expected to come back and contribute but unfortunately I couldn't get it done," Ibe said. "I tried to control what I could control but sometimes you get hurt. I tried to do all that I could and I'm proud of that at the end of the day."

As a junior, Ibe's 10 sacks tied for the Shore Conference lead and he added 55 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for a Jaguars defense that allowed under 80 yards rushing per game and held two opponents to negative rushing yards. Although injuries limited him to just five games as a senior, he still put up solid numbers with 35 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks.

10/09/2020 - Manasquan / Jackson Memorial
Jackson Memorial's Eric Ibe (#35 above) will try to terrorize the Monmouth County offensive line during the 2022 All-Shore Gridiron Classic. (Photo by Richard O'Donnell.)

Now, Ibe is fully healthy and ready to unleash his full repertoire on the Monmouth County offensive line. He has been mostly unblockable during Ocean County's practices leading up to Wednesday night's All-Shore Gridiron Classic at Brick Township High School. Before he heads off to the University of New Haven for college, the 6-foot-1, 245-pound menace in the middle is ready to put his stamp on the Gridiron Classic.

"I just want to get my name out there for the last time and put it on for my town," Ibe said. "I want to leave a lasting mark, to show who I am, especially now that I'm healthy. What I did last season, that's not me. I know I'm ready to go."

"I just can't wait. That's all I can say. I can't wait to play football."



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