Nwankwo is Ready to Report

Will it be offense or defense for Emeka Nwankwo when he reports to Notre Dame? The versatile lineman from Chaminade Madonna College Prep (Hollywood, Fla.) has played on both sides of the line throughout his career, but he does have a preference.

Notre Dame has needs on both side of the ball, but their need along the defensive front may be greater than their need at offensive guard. Emeka Nwankwo (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) will be happy no matter what position he plays, but he would like a chance to play defense.

"I'd like to play defense. I haven't heard a final word on it yet, but it's looking good," Nwankwo responded when asked which position the Notre Dame coaches want him to play. "Me and Ian [Williams] would probably dominate. Florida's got the speed, we're all about speed."

January is the month most high school football games are held and Emeka has been busy on the all-star circuit.

"I've been in the Dade-Broward all-star game that we have down here," Nwankwo said. "I played for Broward County. I played left guard. I did real good. It was a real fun game, although Dade County blew us out.

"It helped build confidence, we really didn't learn anything new. It did teach me how to prepare for college coming into a new system. With new players you try to become one. You try to gel together in a short period of time. We only practiced for two weeks.

"I'm also going to be playing in an all-star game called the NFL Global Youth All-Star Game," he said. "It's held the Saturday before the Super Bowl. The city that hosts the Super Bowl hosts the game. We'll play teams from Canada, Japan, Panama and Mexico."

Once Nwankwo finishes his postseason activities, he will focus on his future at Notre Dame.

"After the all-star games are out of the way, I'm going to hit the weight room as hard as possible," Nwankwo explained. "I just can't wait to get up to Notre Dame. I'll be up there June 17. I've got so many emotions, I don't know what to think right now. I don't have any expectations, because I don't want to be disappointed if something doesn't happen. I just want everything to happen naturally, and let everything flow. I'm anxious to leave. I can't wait.

"I'm always on the phone with coach Parmalee. He always wants to catch up with me and see how I'm doing. A lot of times we talk about the game and how things went, but we mostly talk about the future and how things are going to be. I think he's the best [recruiter] I've ever talked to. Being from Miami he understands and I can talk to coach Parmalee about anything. He does a great job of staying in contact with me. I've talked to coach Latina, but I haven't spoken to him since the LSU game. I plan to call him before signing day to let him know that I'm on board and let him know everything is going good."

While Nwankwo was going through the recruiting process, there were concerns over about the distance Notre Dame was from South Florida, but after a visit from the Irish head coach, those concerns were eased.

"Coach Weis has already visited me. He came in after I committed," Emeka said. "He talked to my mom about everything. My parents concern was whether I'd be taken care of and he let them know that it was a tight knit family at Notre Dame and that they'd be looking after me and that they wouldn't let anything happen to me. All they had to do was talk to Charlie and everything as settled."

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories