So Long Seniors: Raphael Akobundu

Hard to find: Action shot which shows Raphael's face Easy to find: Action shot with a QB Running for his life

Position: LB
Hometown: Bronx, NY
High School: Christopher Columbus

For the second straight day we say goodbye to a linebacker from the Bronx. While Housey was converted to the defensive line Akobundu remained a fixture as a linebacker during his three years at UB.

As a linebacker for head coach David Diaz at Christopher Columbus High School Akobundu tallied 83 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception his senior season. His performance earned him a spot on the All-Borough Team. In addition to Football Akobundu was a soccer player and a member of the track team running the third leg of a pretty respectable 4X200 squad.

After High School Akobundo went enrolled at Iowa Wesleyan where he was a two sport Athlete. He Ran sprints on the track team and played Linebacker for coach Jason Smelser. In his one season he recoded nineteen tackles and a half sack which was 13th on the team.

During the 2008 season at UB Akobundu played in 13 games, all of them starts. His 71 Tackles was good for fifth on the defense during its championship run. One of his best efforts was against the Cardinals in the MACC where he netted eight solo tackles.  He was also something of a ball hawk that season pulling in two fumble recoveries, one of which led to UB's first touchdown in the MAC Championship Game.

During his Junior season Raphael found himself in more of a supporting role, having started just two of the games. Still he was a key member of the defense who saw action in every game racking up 37 tackles. Against Pittsburgh in week two Akobundo's eight tackles marked a season high.

In Coach Quinn's first season the 3-4 defense meant more need for solid linebackers, a season ending injury to Scott Pettigrew and the departure from Darius Willis thinned out what was a very deep core of linebackers. Akobundu responded by nearly matching his 2008 season. Looking at tackles per game he actually bested his Sophomore year. In the loss to Ball State he was in on a career high eleven Tackles and he defended a pass.

Akobundu is one of several departing Linebackers who will be very hard for the Bulls to replace.

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