Safety target Ikenna Okeke previews Notre Dame visit

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Recruit: Safety Ikenna Okeke

School: Smyrna (Tenn.) High

Size: 6-2, 200

Rankings: Rivals – Three stars, No. 32 safety. 247Sports – Three stars, No. 38 safety.

Senior stats: Offense – 35 catches for 504 yards and two touchdowns in seven games. Defense – 32 tackles and one interception.

Recruiters: Defensive line coach Mike Elston, defensive backs coach Todd Lyght.

Recent visits: Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn.

Visit schedule: Penn State (Nov. 21)

• Safety target Ikenna Okeke will return to Notre Dame this weekend for the first time since the Irish Invasion in June. ND Insider caught up with Okeke before he was scheduled to arrive in South Bend on Saturday.

ND Insider: What made you want to schedule another visit to Notre Dame?

Ikenna Okeke: “Going back up there, I’ve been excited and waiting for this day ever since the Irish Invasion. The feeling is still there with the love from Notre Dame.”

NDI: What’s it been like to see so many different schools this season?

Okeke: “I just love college football. I have the opportunity to go as a recruit, so I want to take advantage of that. It’s cool to see all these different places. It’s been nice. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

NDI: How often to you keep in touch with Notre Dame?

Okeke: “I talk with someone from Notre Dame pretty much every day.”

NDI: What’s your relationship like with coach Elston?

Okeke: “Very strong. I love what he’s about. Cool guy. We talk a lot.”

NDI: What’s been your impression of coach Lyght?

Okeke: “He’s a man with experience. He was quite the player. He’s someone I would definitely love to have as a coach.”

NDI: How do you think you would fit in Notre Dame’s defense? 

Okeke: “They’re talking about early impact and me playing a high safety. Sometimes they play three or four safeties in a game. The opportunities are endless.”

NDI: What has Notre Dame told you about scholarships left for safeties?

Okeke: “At the moment they have one more spot open at safety. That’s why I’m trying to get up there as soon as possible because I know the commits have been filling up quick.”

NDI: Is there anything specific you want to see while you’re at Notre Dame this time around?

Okeke: “Just seeing the coaches, getting another feel for the campus and the game atmosphere.”

tjames@ndinsider.com | 574-235-6214 | Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Safety target Ikenna Okeke said a commitment to Notre Dame was "a possibility" this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Rivals)