Irish in lead pack for Okeke

Three-star safety Ikenna Okeke is taking an academic-based approach to picking his college. He has Notre Dame and Stanford, as well as in-state Tennessee, as his top three entering summer.

Three-star safety Ikenna Okeke is taking a slow approach to selecting his future college. The 6-foot-2, 200 pounder from Smyrna, Tenn., has about seven schools on his short list but three have moved to the front of the line.

Stanford is in my top three and Notre Dame actually is one or two right now. That stands out to me a lot and then really it’s just Tennessee because it’s my home state and it was my first offer so I keep them up there,” Okeke said. “Really the academic standpoint from Notre Dame and Stanford, that’s really what makes them the top two.”

Notre Dame offered Okeke last month and the Irish have remained in close contact. He was scheduled to talk to Irish head coach Brian Kelly earlier this week but that call was rescheduled.

Irish assistant coach Mike Elston has handled the bulk of Okeke’s recruitment and the Irish send him their weekly 4 for 40 mailer. Notre Dame is expected to visit Okeke this week.

“I talk to coach Elston a lot and they’re always sending me the 4 for 40s and asking me when I’m going to get up there this summer,” Okeke said. “It’s just information about their school. That last one was about how many championships they’ve won and stuff like that.”

Okeke hopes to visit South Bend within the next few months.

“I’m definitely working on it right now to try and get up there this summer,” he said. “The only school I know I’m trying to set up an official to is Stanford. I’m going to try and get that one out of the way sometime in July.”

Okeke has already visited Tennessee.

When it comes to making a final decision, Okeke plans to consider the academic offerings of each school as much as the opportunity for early playing time.

“It’s the opportunity I could have on the field whether it’s just playing time or stuff like that and then what really stands out on and off the field,” he said. “I know a degree from Notre Dame would be huge.”

Okeke plans to put the recruiting process on the back burner over the next few weeks as Smyrna High conducts its spring practice drills.  After that he plans to attend a couple of camps and combines, including The Opening Regional in Columbus, Ohio on May 31. Top Stories