‘It’s a family over there’

Ovie Oghoufo returned to Notre Dame for Junior Day and saw more of the same, which was a good thing. But soaking in campus again also offered another perspective the four-star linebacker appreciated.

Ovie Oghoufo hit the ground running on his latest Notre Dame visit.

Defensive backs coach Todd Lyght made sure of it. Oghoufo, a four-star linebacker from Farmington Hills, Mich., met with Lyght shortly after arriving last Friday for Junior Day. Lyght is the new area recruiter for Michigan.

Oghoufo then dove into position-specific meetings with new linebackers coach Clark Lea and defensive coordinator Mike Elko. They reinforced recent messages.

“I’ve been listening to coach Lea a lot,” said Oghoufo, who’s been committed to the Irish since July. “This was my first time meeting coach Elko in person. Coach Lea was pretty much the same. I’ve got a lot of love for him. He’s got a lot of special things he wants to do with me.
Coach Elko seems like a cool guy too. I really like him. They both have plans or this defense. That’s something I wanna be a part of. I can’t wait to make it happen.”

Lea and Elko filled in Oghoufo on their plans for the Notre Dame defense as it transitions to a 4-2-5 system. That means something different for Oghoufo, potentially.

“Right now they’ve said I could either play buck or the rover position, which is like a safety/linebacker prototype,” Oghoufo said. “It’s just a matter of when I get to campus, how big I am and how I can move and all that.”

Most of Saturday focused on football as well. But that’s not the only aspect Notre Dame presented to its Junior Day visitors.

Oghoufo and several others stayed overnight. During their time away from the coaches and football facilities, prospects learned more about the program from players that have already started their college careers.

Joined by four-star cornerback Kalon Gervin, who committed to the Irish on Monday morning, Oghoufo soaked in all this information.

“It was mainly football Saturday,” Oghoufo said. “I’d say it was mainly football. But when we were on our own we got the university aspect. Me and Kalon, we were hanging out at night and going through different places with C.J. Holmes, Tony Jones and D.J. Morgan. Those three were really with us  the whole time. We went through the library, through the Basilica, all that stuff. We got the university aspect with those three dudes but we got the football aspect Saturday.”

Getting back to South Bend for Junior Day also marked something new for Oghoufo — seeing Notre Dame when the students are around but not on a game day. That offered a new perspective.

“It’s a family over there,” he said. “Everybody is trying to help everybody and that’s really great. No person is bad mouthing the other one. It’s just really cool how all the players come together. It really hit me that you can see your teammates anywhere. We went to Smashburger and we saw some of the players there. We went across the street to like Five Guys and you’d see players there. It’s really like a family-packed university where you could see each person anywhere.” Top Stories