Ovie Oghoufo

Notre Dame defensive end Ovie Oghoufo, left, plans to enter the NCAA’s transfer portal.

The line to enter the transfer portal added another Notre Dame football player Tuesday.

Junior defensive end Ovie Oghoufo joined the list of Irish players looking for a new home, a source confirmed with the Tribune. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports first reported the news Tuesday morning.

Oghoufo became the sixth Notre Dame player to express plans to enter the transfer portal since the season ended Friday with a 31-14 loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal. The Oghoufo news followed transfer portal reports regarding running back Jahmir Smith, wide receiver Jafar Armstrong, center Colin Grunhard, cornerback Isaiah Rutherford and safety Houston Griffith.

Oghoufo and Griffith are the only two on that list who played meaningful snaps for the Irish in 2020. According to Pro Football Focus, Griffith played 215 defensive snaps and Oghoufo played 149.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Oghoufo split time at the vyper defensive end position behind starter Daelin Hayes and fellow backup Isaiah Foskey. With Hayes off to the NFL, a duo of Oghoufo and Foskey at the position could have been an impressive tag team. But Foskey, a sophomore, flashed more throughout the 2020 season and appeared to be the favorite to earn the starting role.

Oghoufo played in 11 games as a junior and totaled 10 tackles, two pass breakups, 1.5 sacks and one quarterback hurry. Foskey played a total of 282 defensive snaps across all 12 games with 20 tackles, 4.5 sacks and five quarterback hurries.

The Irish added Oghoufo as a three-star recruit out of Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison as one of the earliest commits in Notre Dame’s 2018 class. He gave his verbal commitment to the Irish on July 22, 2016. Notre Dame beat out Michigan and Michigan State in Oghoufo's recruitment.

247Sports slated Oghoufo as the No. 37 outside linebacker in the 2018 class. Rivals ranked him 40th at the position.

Oghoufo was named Notre Dame’s Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year when he didn’t see any game action as a freshman in 2018. As a sophomore, Oghoufo played nine games and accounted for 12 tackles, one sack, one pass breakup and three quarterback hurries.

The depth chart at vyper next season will lack experience behind Foskey but should have young upside. Jordan Botelho, a former four-star recruit, will be asked to step up after playing in 11 games primarily on special teams as a freshman in 2020.

The Irish also signed two vyper prospects in December: Will Schweitzer (6-5, 205) and Devin Aupiu (6-5, 220), both three-star recruits out of California who plan to enroll as freshmen in the spring.

tjames@sbtinfo.com

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