Notre Dame signee Jayson Ademilola caps memorable Army Bowl week
SAN ANTONIO — Jayson Ademilola had to wait his turn to make his presence felt in Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but he didn’t waste his opportunities.
On the first play Ademilola took the field, the West team tried to run his way. The future Notre Dame defensive tackle prevented running back Brenden Brady from finding much room. Defensive end Justin Mascoll (Clemson) and linebacker Channing Tindall (Georgia) were credited with the tackle, but Ademilola provided a disruption on the one-yard gain.
Ademilola’s lone tackle would come in the third quarter when Brady tried to run his way again. The 6-foot-3, 288-pound senior from Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep wrapped him up at the line of scrimmage.
"I feel like I had a really dominant performance this week,” Ademilola said. “Coming in, some guys had a lot of hype on them, but I felt like I didn't have that. I came in and I proved what I needed to prove. I showed it in the game. The reps I got in, I made plays.”
There weren’t many more highlights for the five Notre Dame signees playing for the East team in the 17-16 victory for the West. Beyond Ademilola, linebacker Shayne Simon made one tackle and broke up a pass.
Quarterback Phil Jurkovec had the worst day of the bunch. In only five snaps, Jurkovec handed the ball off twice, was stopped for a loss of 22 yards on two runs, and threw an interception on his only pass of the day.
Safety Derrik Allen and tight end George Takacs didn’t make a dent in the final box score. Allen helped prevent a completion near the goal line with a hit on wide receiver Brian Hightower (Miami) in the first quarter. Takacs was asked to block most of the day.
But the week was more than a 48-minute game in the Alamodome for Ademilola. It was an opportunity to get better by practicing against some of the top offensive linemen in the country.
“Everybody's great,” Ademilola said. “You get to go against the best. It brings the best out of you."
The week for Notre Dame’s defensive recruits was disrupted by news of defensive coordinator Mike Elko leaving the Irish to join Texas A&M’s program. Ademilola said Elko reached out to him after the move was announced.
“It was a business decision for him,” Ademilola said. “He had to do it. Life moves on. It's all cool."
The Ademilola family, including older brother Marcus, a junior tight end at Bucknell, and twin brother, Justin, an Irish defensive end signee, made the trip to San Antonio to watch the game. Getting a chance to play another high school game in front of his family capped a memorable week.
"It was great,” Jayson Ademilola said. “A fun experience. Something I'll always remember."