Okeke ‘high’ on Irish

Three-star safety Ikenna Okeke finally had the chance to check out Notre Dame on Friday. He wasn’t disappointed. The Irish nearly added Okeke as a commit.

Three-star safety Ikenna Okeke had a visit to Notre Dame in the works ever since he landed an offer back in March.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Smyrna, Tenn., finally hit South Bend on Friday and wasn’t disappointed.

“I was dying to get up there and I think I checked every box I wanted to check,” Okeke said. “The only thing for my decision is I want to check out maybe one other school or two. Notre Dame came in high on my list and left high on my list.”

Okeke hopes to visit Stanford this summer. If not, he’ll make an official visit to Palo Alto in September, then announce his college destination.

For now this recruitment is a Notre Dame-Stanford battle, but the door is open for a few others to steal him away.

“They’re probably 1-2,” Okeke said. “Everybody else, I’m just open to them. I can check them out and see if they can pull me in but those are my 1 and 2 right now. I’m trying to get around to Florida, Florida State, Georgia and LSU. I want to get to (Missouri) too.”

Okeke and his parents arrived in South Bend around 9 a.m. on Friday and made their way to campus an hour later. After touring they chatted with the Irish coaching staff, including defensive backs coach Todd Lyght and recruiting coordinator Mike Elston.

“Mostly coach Lyght talked to me about my opportunity that I have at that school coming in early and competing for playing time, the education and that kind of stuff,” Okeke said.

Head coach Brian Kelly met with Okeke on Saturday morning.

“He was talking to me about the tradition and why it would be a great choice,” Okeke said. “I also talked to coach Elston. It was cool catching up with him too.”

Okeke had several moments during the visit when he felt ready to end his recruitment. He held off to check out Stanford.

“It was always a possibility but going in I knew I wanted to check out one more school,” he said. “When I make my final decision I want it to be 100-percent so I knew going in I knew I had at least one more visit I wanted to take.”

Okeke was a spectator for the Irish Invasion inside Notre Dame Stadium and was impressed by the event.

“It was well put together,” he said. “It looked fun out there. I almost wanted to hop out there despite the fact I came in saying I wasn’t. I almost wanted to hop out there.”

Scout.com ranks Okeke as the 82nd best safety in the nation.


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories