Ekanem Found by Irish

Scout.com four-star defensive end Ken Ekanem trimmed his list down in August and Notre Dame made the cut. IrishEyes.com spoke with Ekanem about his interest in the Irish and how he was discovered.

Using every scouting and recruiting tool possible is a must for college football programs across the country. For Clifton (VA) Centreville High School defensive end Ken Ekanem it was the internet that helped Notre Dame learn about his football skills.

"Coach (Charley) Molnar found my highlights on YouTube," said Ekanem. "After seeing them he came to my school to check me out and he's been here a couple of times. We've been talking back and forth since then and we're pretty cool."

While listed by Scout.com as a defensive end, Ekanem knows if he selects the Irish they have different plans.

"Notre Dame said I would play outside linebacker in their 3-4 system," said Ekanem. "They would have me rushing the passer and sometimes dropping back in coverage. I feel it's a pretty good deal for me."

What position does Ekanem prefer?

"I like the thought of being a linebacker," said Ekanem. "I feel it would be more fun than being a defensive end. Playing defensive end is like a one-gap straight ahead responsibility. However, being a linebacker you get to go all over the place and make tackles."

One thing Ekanem is hoping to catch up on is visiting the programs he's got interest in. When does he plan on making a trip to South Bend?

"I've not made any visits yet," said Ekanem. "I'll probably wait until the end of my football season to make any visits."

When asked what he's looking for in a college program, Ekanem seemed to be talking about the Irish.

"The history of the school interests me a lot," said Ekanem. "Academics are very important as I'm looking to major in business management. I want to go into sports marketing so I want a good academic program. I'll also be looking to see if the school wins and when they see me getting playing time."

What has Ekanem heard or seen about the Irish?

"I know they have a great history and that interest me a lot," said Ekanem. "I also like the coaching staff and their defensive scheme. Coach (Brian) Kelly is a very good players coach and I've heard great things about him.

"I've also heard a lot about Notre Dame's connections and how if I wouldn't make it to the NFL, I'd still be successful in life as I'll be able to get some pretty good jobs."

As for where the Irish stand at this time, Ekanem is keeping all doors open.

"It's wide open right now," said Ekanem. "I'm looking at each school equally as I'm trying to get a better perspective of each program."

Will distance from home play a factor in his decision?

"It's a possibility it could play a factor," said Ekanem. "I won't know until I get there and see how comfortable I feel there. However, right now I do not see it playing a factor in my decision."

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories