Knee injury costs Ogundeji season

Notre Dame defensive end commitment Adetokunbo Ogundeji injured his knee last week. Now he knows the season is lost. Ogundeji avoided surgery but will be in rehabilitation mode with a partially torn MCL.

Adetokunbo Ogundeji won’t play another football game until college.

Last week the three-star defensive end from Walled Lake, Mich., departed Central High School’s loss with a knee injury. Ogundeji was engaged in a block when another player missed a tackle, careening right into his leg and buckling the knee.

Follow-up appointments this week revealed a partial MCL tear. Ogundeji, who committed to Notre Dame in July, will avoid surgery in favor of rehabilitation but won’t return this season.

“There’s only five weeks left and I have to go back in four weeks,” Ogundeji said. “I won’t even be able to run by then. It is what it is. I’ve just got to get stronger and build on it.”

Ogundeji will lean on his father, a physical therapist, during rehab. He’ll return to the doctor in a month to assess progress. Doctors have already briefed Ogundeji on what to expect.

“Just working on my quad so it gets stronger,” Ogundeji said. “The knee has to fix itself, the guy was telling me. We can’t really do any (physical therapy) because it has to fix itself. Just doing the quad and the areas around the knee to make it stronger so when the knee gets repaired that area of your body won’t be stiff.”

Ogundeji has already communicated with the Notre Dame staff about the injury.

Plans to visit for the Georgia Tech game had to be scrapped after Ogundeji got hurt. He hopes to make it down for the Navy and/or USC games next month. He’s been keeping tabs from afar with an eye on the Clemson game next week.

“I just want to see if the defense keeps it up,” Ogundeji said. “To me the defense is one of the things that stands out about Notre Dame right now. They’re fast, they’re physical. Those are things I like. They’re getting to the quarterback. If they win on defense, I think they can win the whole thing. I’m pretty happy.”

Ogundeji chose the Irish over scholarship offers from Buffalo, Cal, Miami (Ohio), Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Toledo and Western Michigan.

No other programs are turning his attention now.

“I already told myself I was done with the recruiting process,” Ogundeji said. “I’m 100 percent to Notre Dame.”


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