Notre Dame adds commitment from 2018 LB Ovie Oghoufo

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Ovie Oghoufo didn’t need more than a month to consider his Notre Dame football scholarship offer.

He returned to campus Friday and gave the Irish his verbal commitment.

“I kind of had a feeling I was going to commit,” said Oghoufo, a 2018 linebacker recruit who received a Notre Dame offer following his camp performance June 24. “I really liked the University of Notre Dame when I last visited.”

Late July visitors are typically uncommon for Notre Dame, but coach Brian Kelly, recruiting coordinator Mike Elston and defensive line coach Keith Gilmore made sure to be on campus when Oghoufo arrived Friday.

“Coach Gilmore is my area recruiter, so I have a good relationship with him,” Oghoufo said. “Coach Elston will be my linebacker coach, so I definitely have a great relationship with him.”

The Irish returned to the same high school to find Oghoufo — Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison — that produced current freshman defensive end Khalid Kareem. While Kareem was causing problems on the defensive line, the 6-foot-3, 207-pound Oghoufo was making plays on the outside and in the backfield. He recorded 66 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and three forced fumbles as a sophomore.

Oghoufo has yet to receive a star rating or ranking from Rivals and 247Sports. Scout slates him as a four-star recruit and the No. 21 outside linebacker in the 2018 class.

“That’s a big catch for Notre Dame,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “If Michigan or Michigan State offered, he has to be pretty good. They don’t mess around in their own state unless they really want a kid.”

Oghoufo chose the Irish over the Wolverines and Spartans. He also claimed offers from Kentucky, Boston College, Syracuse and several MAC schools.

Having college coaches visit his school to scout Kareem certainly helped Oghoufo land on recruiting radars. Oghoufo gained a better understanding of the recruiting process from Kareem, who would share advice with him.

“I definitely looked up to him when he was in high school,” Oghoufo said. “He kind of got this whole recruiting thing started for me. He played a big role. The connections you receive at Notre Dame are unquestionable, and he made me realize that.”

With his length, Oghoufo could be much thicker by the time he arrives at Notre Dame. A career path to defensive end shouldn’t be ruled out, but his speed and athleticism will allow him to stay at outside linebacker in the immediate future.

“They like the way I can play all three downs,” Oghoufo said describing his feedback from the ND coaching staff. “I’m able to chase the ball carrier down in the backfield as well as drop into coverage. There’s a lot of things they’d like to do with me.”

Notre Dame’s 2018 recruiting class now consists of commitments from Oghoufo, linebacker Justin Ademilola, defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola, running back Markese Stepp and quarterback Phil Jurkovec. 247Sports pegs the class third in the country behind Florida State and Miami. Only the Hurricanes, with seven, have more than the five commitments the Irish have received.

The group has been vocal in trying to recruit others to join the class. Oghoufo plans to do the same.

"They’ve been talking to me every single week. It’s great that they’re very loyal to their commitment,” Oghoufo said. “That’s how I feel too. I’m definitely going to try to get some more top targets committed for this 2018 class."

God. Country. Notre Dame. ☘ #IrishBouND18pic.twitter.com/VjOh1RLwSV

— Ovie Oghoufo (@_OvieO_) July 22, 2016

Below are highlights of Oghoufo’s sophomore season via Hudl.

#WeAreND

— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) July 22, 2016

☘☘☘☘☘!!#IrishBouND18pic.twitter.com/HYu43u9uk8

— Mike Elston (@CoachMikeElston) July 22, 2016

Huge congrats to @_OvieO_ on his commitment ‼️ #IrishBouND18 keeps getting better!! @markese_stepp@jaysonademilola@JustinAdemilola

— Phil Jurkovec (@pjurkovec) July 22, 2016

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

Notre Dame linebacker commit Ovie Oghoufo, a 2018 recruit, said new Irish linebackers coach Clark Lea visited his school on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Rivals)