All Irish: James Onwualu

IrishEyes.com begins its signing day coverage with a look at the five early enrollees already on campus, each ready to compete this spring.

James Onwualu (Wide Receiver, 6'1" 202 pounds)

A pledge since March 2012, Onwualu offered the following of the close-knit 2013 recruiting class, one that can boast a pledge from 16 of its members prior to the start of Notre Dame's magical season:

"It's definitely special. I was actually talking to coach (Brian) Kelly about that, and a lot of our commits were actually committed before the season even really got going, and we all felt really good about how we thought Notre Dame was, and how we felt about Notre Dame. And now that they're winning, it brings the emotions to a whole other level."

Veterans returning at Wide Receiver: Seniors T.J. Jones, Daniel Smith, and Luke Massa; junior (redshirt-sophomore) DaVaris Daniels, true sophomores Justin Ferguson, Chris Brown, and Davonte' Neal.

Fellow incoming Wide Receiver prospects: Four-star Will Fuller, four-star Corey Robinson, four-star Torii Hunter, Jr.

Berk on Onwualu Hard working player with a chip on his shoulder to show doubters he's got the skills to play at a high level as a receiver.  Not afraid to compete against the best and will be tested early and often as he continues to make the transition to a new position.

Dohn on Onwualu: He played in the backfield in high school and will have tomake the transition to full-time receiver, but he does so with some wonderfultools. Onwualu has tremendous balance and he plays strong. He changes direction well and has good speed, but he has to improve his burst to be able to separate from cornerbacks.

O'Malley's Initial Slotting

A January enrollee, Onwualu will compete this spring for one of the team's outside receiver positions (known as the X and W, with the former long-occupied by senior T.J. Jones).

Onwualu starred as runner as well, and though he won't debut at the position in South Bend, its his skill set with the ball in his hands that could give him a leg up among fellow incoming receivers and in his fight for a two-deep role in the rotation.

Onwualu runs with abandon after the catch, never conceding a tackle, avoiding the sidelines unless they present the clearest path to the end zone. Solidly built entering his first collegiate semester, Onwualu could forge his way on the field in 2014 regardless of the development of players ahead of him or in this class.

Notre Dame's RAC (run-after-catch) yards weren't up to par with the nation's top offenses in 2012. Senior-to-be T.J. Jones often gained and extra five or six post-catch, but never broke for long gains. Onwualu can bring that element to future Irish offenses. His battle with sophomore to be Justin Ferguson, a similarly talented post-catch runner, will be fun to watch over the next two spring sessions.

Links of Note: Click the links below for more highlight reels and comprehensive recruitment information for James Onwualu:

Onwualu's Initial Commitment

Scout's Take: Breaking Down Onwualu

Coach-Speak: James Onwualu

Onwualu's most recent interview

Link to Onwualu's highlight clips

All Stories on Onwualu


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