Four-star LB Osita Ekwonu keeps Notre Dame commitment streak rolling

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame’s first official visit weekend in April continues to pay dividends.

The latest windfall came Thursday when four-star linebacker Osita Ekwonu announced his verbal commitment to Notre Dame.

Philippians 4:13

I am BEYOND excited to announce that I will continue my academic and athletic career at The University of Notre Dame!

— Osi Ekwonu™ (@Osita_Ekwonu59) June 14, 2018

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound product of Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day was on campus in April the same weekend as four-star defensive end NaNa Osafo-Mensah, who committed to the Irish in May. Defensive line commits Jacob Lacey and Hunter Spears also made their official visits that weekend. Together they represent a big part of future Notre Dame defenses.

Ekwonu, who did not respond to Tribune messages Thursday evening, gave Notre Dame its third commitment in as many days. The recruiting streak started Tuesday when three-star linebacker Jack Kiser joined the 2019 class. On Wednesday, four-star tight end Kevin Bauman joined the 2020 class.

The Irish have collected 13 commitments in the 2019 class with the addition of Ekwonu, who joins Kiser as the second linebacker in the class. Both Rivals and 247Sports peg Notre Dame’s class at No. 6 nationally for 2019.

Ekwonu committed to Notre Dame after reporting offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Duke and more.

“He has all the tools,” CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said of Ekwonu. “He has what it takes to play on Sundays in four years. He’s an outside linebacker on film, but he can play inside. He’s a terrific all-around athlete. He can break down in space and make plays. He’s a three-down linebacker.”

Rivals ranks Ekwonu as the No. 9 inside linebacker in the 2019 class. 247Sports slates him No. 14 at the position.

Ekownu’s first visit to Notre Dame came last June for the Irish Invasion. He returned for the USC game in October before making his official visit in April. Notre Dame’s coaching staff extended an offer to Ekwonu in January after he recorded 101 tackles and three sacks in his junior season. He also rushed 67 times for 500 yards and 13 touchdowns.

“He does a really good job of getting off blocks,” Lemming said. “He plays the game downhill, and he always controls his gap. He’s a dominant player in high school.”

At Providence Day, Ekwonu plays for head coach Adam Hastings, who coached Irish defensive end Julian Okwara, and his older brother, Romeo, at Ardrey Kell in Charlotte.


— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) June 14, 2018

Another #LeaBacker joining the class. This is big time. Summertime is commitment time! #FightClub19 ☘️

— Aaryn Kearney (AK) (@aarynkearney) June 14, 2018

Four-star linebacker Osita Ekwonu, a 2018 recruit, announced his commitment to Notre Dame on June 15, 2018.