Junior Okpara Looking for More

There is plenty of high school talent in Texas and the Irish staff will be trying to bring the top guys to South Bend. Junior cornerback, Junior Okpara of Dulles High School (Sugar Land, Texas) has gotten the attention of some top programs, including Notre Dame.

Junior Okpara (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) isn't surprised by the mail he receives from colleges, and he hopes more is on its way, but for now he's excited to see the interest from various colleges.

"I've been getting quite a few from a variety of different colleges, but Texas Tech and Texas A&M are the two I've been hearing from most," Okpara responded when asked to name the schools that were recruiting him. "I'm also hearing from schools like Kansas State Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Florida State, Boston College, University of Houston and Missouri.

"I'll always look for recruiting to get heavier, but I'm fairly satisfied at this point with the number of schools that are looking at me. It would be nice to be close to home, but distance won't have anything to do with my decision. "

Notre Dame is doing a very good job of identifying the top juniors and Okpara is on that list.

"I've gotten some letters from Notre Dame telling me about their season, games that they're playing and keeping me up to date on their record, but nothing too serious yet," Okpara explained. "I haven't researched much about them yet, but I like their program, their coaches and the prestige of the school. Everything about Notre Dame grabs my attention. I would love to play for the Fighting Irish."

Generally taller defensive backs have difficulty playing cornerback, but Okpara believes he has the ability to stay with receivers.

"My height and my hips are my strengths," Okpara explained. "I can get in and out of my backpedal really smooth, and then move and run with the receiver. It comes natural for me with my hips. That's my strength along with my size. When other players get tall, they usually get a little slower with their hip movement, but I have good height, good hips and speed. If a receiver gets a step on me, I have good catch-up speed.

"I have good body size, good weight, and strength. My strength is only going to get better as I move to the collegiate level. This summer I'm going to try to improve on everything and hopefully the colleges start recruiting me heavier."

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories