Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah subjected to the NFL Draft waiting game

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

Bob Crable walked off the golf course Thursday evening in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with the NFL Draft on his mind and the notion that his 39-year run as an answer to a trivia question was about to come to an end.

Shockingly, it didn’t.

After Notre Dame unanimous All-American Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah slipped through all 32 picks of the first round Thursday night, the 61-year-old Crable remains as the only Irish linebacker ever to be selected in the first round.

The New York Jets plucked ND’s career (521), single-season (187) and single-game leader in tackles (26) with pick No. 23 of the 1982 draft. Owusu-Koramoah was projected to go in the middle of the first round.

Instead, he’ll be touted as one of the best players available when rounds 2 and 3 unfold Friday night, beginning at 7 p.m. EDT (ABC, ESPN, NFL Network).

Offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg, tight end Tommy Tremble and offensive guard Aaron Banks are the other Irish players projected as day 2 picks.

Owusu-Koramoah would have been Notre Dame’s 10th first-round pick in a 10-draft span (2012) under Kelly. Still the nine picks comprise a huge improvement over the two first-rounders the Irish produced in the previous 12 drafts (2000-2011), in center Jeff Faine and quarterback Brady Quinn.

The three-day, seven-round draft concludes Saturday in Cleveland. Coverage of round 4-7 starts at noon EDT.

“From what I understand Jeremiah is a phenomenal kid, and everything he gets, he deserves,” Crable said. “I didn’t get to follow his career as closely as I would have liked, because my son was still playing, but I was impressed with what I did see.”

Matthew Crable recently completed his senior season at NAIA power St. Francis (Ind.), playing a delayed and diluted schedule affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t like to tell people what position my son plays all the time, because I’m a defensive guy,” Bob Crable said with a laugh. “I break out in hives when I think about my kid as a quarterback.”

Crable lives in the Cincinnati area, where he played his high school football at Moeller. He calls himself semi-retired but spends his working hours investing in the stock market and cryptocurrency.

“I tell people that I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up,” he said.

Owusu-Koramoah, one of 45 draft prospects who have agreed to participate in the draft festivities virtually, is likely trying to figure out why he’s still without a team after Thursday night.

Five players who ESPN classified as linebackers were selected in round one, but a closer look reveals maybe teams were just shopping down a different aisle. Two of them, pick 31 Jayson Oweh (6-5, 257) and pick 32 Joe Tryon (6-5, 259), are really edge defenders.

The other three — pick 12 Micah Parsons (6-3, 246), pick 17 Zaven Collins (6-5, 259) and pick 19 Jamin Davis (6-4, 234) are all considerably larger than the 6-2, 215-pound Owusu-Koramoah, who possesses elite coverage skills.

“They’re going to love him,” ND coach Brian Kelly said of the team that eventually drafts the 2021 Butkus Award winner, “because he is a tool that you can use in many different situations in the NFL.”

Jeremiah Owusu-KoramoahNew safeties coach Chris O’Leary worked with rover Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (6) as a graduate assistant last season.