Five-star defensive end Oluwole Betiku took a long-awaited official visit to Notre Dame last weekend and came away impressed with the overarching theme on campus.
“Notre Dame is a beautiful place, it’s an awesome place,” Betiku said. “Every person at Notre Dame wants to be a better person, everyone has the same goal.”
The Gardena (Calif.) Serra product spent time with head coach Brian Kelly, associate head coach Mike Denbrock and defensive line coach Keith Gilmore.
“The coaches explained to me how much they needed me and how I could be a top player for Notre Dame,” Betiku said. “They said I would get the best of everything at Notre Dame. I would play on TV every week, and they said they are as good or better than the other schools I’m considering at getting players to the next level.
“They said they would use me like a faster Romeo (Okwara),” Betiku said. “They would use for a different matchup each week and do something different every game to utilize my speed and pass rushing skills in the different gaps.”
The 6-foot-4, 239-pound defensive end called the game atmosphere during Notre Dame’s 28-7 victory over Wake Forest his favorite part of the trip.
“I enjoyed the game a lot,” Betiku said. “Everyone was throwing marshmallows, so I picked them up and threw them back. It was a lot of fun and it was something I hadn’t seen before. I liked watching Notre Dame’s defense. Jaylon (Smith) has a lot of speed and does all sorts of stuff. He defends the tight ends and the run. Romeo had three sacks. Sheldon (Day) took on the double team and used his speed inside.”
Betiku said he wasn’t bothered by the brisk temperatures in South Bend.
“The weather doesn’t affect me because pro players have to play all over the country,” Betiku said. “And Notre Dame has a lot of players from L.A.”
Freshman cornerback Ashton White hosted Betiku. They attended school together at Forestville (Md.) Bishop McNamara for a semester before Betiku moved to California.
“I knew Ashton from when I went to school in Maryland, so we caught up and he told me what was going on back there,” Betiku said. “I talked to Jaylon a lot, too.”
Betiku has also taken official visits to Florida State and Texas A&M. He visited USC last Wednesday on an unofficial visit, and the Trojans are in the running to receive one of his two final official visits, along with Arizona State and Florida.
“All of them are great, and to be honest, I know so many people that want to be in the position that I am in,” Betiku said. “Every school I like is in a different world. They are all top programs and great schools.”
Betiku, who will be a mid-year enrollee, doesn’t feel compelled to name leaders.
“I don’t want to compare schools, but Notre Dame is a great place, and I came on this visit for a reason,” Betiku said. “I don’t want to name leaders because that is a slap in the face to the other coaches that are recruiting me. I respect every coach.
“I’m going to think and pray about it. Once I’m done with all of my trips, it will be soon after that. I will probably be ready to decide in a month.”