WHAT NOTRE DAME HAS
Notre Dame picked up its fifth commitment in the 2018 class when four-star linebacker Ovie Oghoufo of Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison went Irish on Friday afternoon.
Oghoufo also held offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State and Syracuse, among others.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound athlete projects as a strong-side or weak-side linebacker in Notre Dame’s defense, though his skillset likely is better developed for the former.
As a sophomore, Oghoufo posted 66 tackles and eight sacks. He also forced three fumbles.
WHY IT MATTERS
Oghoufo gives Notre Dame its 11th commitment in less than five weeks. In the '18 class he joins quarterback Phil Jurkovec, running back Markese Stepp and front seven defenders and twins Justin and Jayson Ademilola.
Last year at this time Notre Dame had only one junior commitment, offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons. Two years ago, Notre Dame had zero juniors committed at this time.
The Irish offered Oghoufo in June when he visited for summer camp. Notre Dame took the lead over Michigan State following that visit. Once Oghoufo returned to campus with his parents on Friday, Notre Dame was able to seal the deal.
Notre Dame recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach Mike Elston and defensive line coach and area recruiter Keith Gilmore co-recruited Oghoufo for the Irish.
Oghoufo comes from the same high school as Notre Dame freshman defensive lineman Khalid Kareem.
WHAT NOTRE DAME WANTS
Fellow '18 commitment Justin Ademilola projects as a strong-side linebacker or big end at 6-foot-2, 225-pounds.
Look for Notre Dame to take a couple more linebackers at the Will and Sam spots in 2018. Offered targets at the top of the priority list include Dallas Gant, Palaie Gaoteote, Teradja Mitchell and Solomon Tuliaupupu.
Notre Dame has three linebackers committed in '17, including Pete Werner and Drew White, who project strong-side and weak-side, respectively. Should Notre Dame add another outside linebacker in this class, Notre Dame’s best bets are Jacob Phillips or Baron Browning, though Notre Dame has work to do to land either.
In 2018, Te’von Coney projects as Notre Dame’s lone senior linebacker at either of the Will or Sam linebacker positions. Josh Barajas and Asmar Bilal were both in Coney's recruiting class, but both took red-shirts last season. That means they can be on the roster through the 2019 season.
Jonathan Jones and Jamir Jones enrolled this summer and figure to red-shirt this season. Werner and White should join the program next summer, as will Mike linebacker David Adams.