Official Visit on Tap for Ekanem

Centreville High (Clifton, Va.) four-star defensive end Ken Ekanem is readying to trim his list, but Notre Dame won't need to sweat it. He said he is in line for an official visit to campus. But who else is in the mix, and what other official visit is he eyeing?

Centreville High (Clifton, Va.) defensive end Ken Ekanem will sit down next week and begin trimming his extensive offer list, but he left no drama about whether Notre Dame will be involved.

Asked if the Irish remained on his radar, the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder gave a quick answer.

"I plan on taking my official visit in the fall," said Ekanem, who likes Notre Dame's 3-4 defense.

Although he doesn't know the date of the Irish visit, and wasn't ready to unveil all the schools to make the cut, Ekanem gave an indication of a few schools the Irish will be up against, including his two in-state schools.

"I would say I will cut to seven," Ekanem said. "I want to take official visits, so they will be in my top seven, and there will be two other ones I will take my unofficials to. Virginia Tech, I'm going to take a lot of unofficial visits there because it's close by. It's the same thing with UVa. It's an hour away."

Another school in Ekanem's stop seven is Oregon, the only other destination he was comfortable with naming when it came to an official visit.

"I'm very interested," Ekanem said. "It's another 3-4 school, and it's far away so I want to use my official visit for it. They did very well last season, making it to the national championship. I hear it's nice so I want to see it."

The Irish's recruiting class is filling quickly, with their 12th commitment coming Sunday from Ardrey Kell High (Charlotte, N.C.) defensive end Romeo Okwara, and Ekanem is paying close attention.

"I plan on calling (assistant) coach (Charley) Molnar today after my workout," said Ekanem, who was asked if Notre Dame remains interested. "That's the feeling I get. I've been keeping up with recruiting. I know who they signed ,and who gave a verbal. I keep up with that."

One of the reasons Ekanem is a highly-prized recruit is the speed he brings off the edge, and his athleticism to drop into coverage. He made 75 tackles, including 17 sacks, as a junior and believes his style fits well with a 3-4 defense.

For now, though, recruiting is going to slow down as he takes his time with the process.

"I think I'm going to visit UVA later this month," Ekanem said of his only summer visit remaining. "I'm just working out with my team and concentrating on that."


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