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Reports: CB Bennett Okotcha flips pledge to Irish

Dec 6, 2010, 7:53 PM EDT

Courtesy of Dallas Morning News Courtesy of Dallas Morning News

The Brian Kelly recruiting machine is on a roll, and the Irish just picked up a much needed commitment from defensive back Bennett Okotcha. Okotcha, high school teammates with recent Irish pledge Cam McDaniel, has been committed to Wisconsin since August before flipping his commitment to Notre Dame, the South Bend Tribune and report.

Okotcha is a big-bodied cornerback with offers from Wisconsin, Baylor, Minnesota and Wake Forest, and was only recently targeted by Kelly and his staff. All reports say he’ll enter college as a cornerback, a position that’s thin on the depth chart and losing senior Darrin Walls to graduation.

Last week, McDaniel had this to say about Okotcha to

“Bennett and I are tremendous friends and ever since our freshman year when I moved to Coppell we worked out together,” McDaniel told ISD. “I think he is one of the top corners in the nation, if not the top corner. I know that is kind of biased coming from my stand point but nobody will throw the ball in his direction. He literally gets bored during games because people are scared to throw it in his direction, it’s amazing.”

While McDaniel might be prone to hyperbole when talking about his high school teammate, the sentiment that Okotcha was an elite recruit was likely shared by Kelly and his defensive staff, and his recruitment by Kelly and outside linebackers coach Kerry Cooks sheds some light on the emphasis the Irish will have on targeting the state of Texas.

Cooks is a Texas native and also spent the past four years at Wisconsin, coaching the secondary for Bret Bielema’s Badgers, the team where Okotcha had been committed. While Wisconsin is obviously having a historic season, it isn’t hard to see the draw to Notre Dame, where the depth chart has plenty of room for a guy like Okotcha.

The cornerback is the 19th commitment to the Irish for this recruiting class and third in the past week. Okotcha joins recruits Josh Atkinson, Jalen Brown, Eilar Hardy and potentially Matthias Farley as defensive backs in the 2011 class.

  1. piratey - Dec 6, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    Keith, I heard that Okotcha also recently received an offer from Oklahoma last week.

    With Ishaq Williams visiting on Wednesday, let’s cross our fingers that we can cap this perfect 4 week stretch that includes a 3 game winning streak that saw the end the USC streak, a bowl bid against Miami, and a four-man recruiting hall that makes us forget about those who jumped ship a little prematurely.

    PS- No mention of “You Raise Me Up”? Come on Keith, you know you want to weight in. =] All i want for Christmas is a Savon Huggins LOI and a RR extension at Michigan…

  2. fightinmad35 - Dec 6, 2010 at 11:07 PM

    I’m impressed with the high level talent these guys are reaching in many talent rich states across the country. They have done really well nationally for a 1st year regime. I’m optimistic about success of the program with these high level type recruits committing, and hopefully signing. This year and beyond.

  3. bostonjan - Dec 8, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Bennett (like Cam) will prove to be an excellent addition to the team – both in terms of talent and temperament.

    Hey Santa, All I want for Christmas is a “Six Pack”:

    1. Michael Floyd returns
    2. Kyle Rudolph returns
    3. Ishaq Williams commit
    4. Savon Huggins commit
    5. lineman commit; Troy Niklas, AundreyWalker, or Antonio Richardson
    6. ATH commit: Christian French or Amir Carlisle

    Please Santa – it’s only a six pack and I’ve been good all year (well mostly good and for most of the year).

    P.S. How about a small New Year’s gift – as in an injury free win in the Sun Bowl?

    • papadec - Dec 10, 2010 at 2:06 AM

      Hey Boston – it looks like Oregon took a sip out of your Christmas wish list, by getting French to commit. I’d rather see commits from Jadevon Clowney, Ray Drew, & Cyrus Kouandjio along with any three of your numbers 1-4. Forget the milk & cookies – I’d leave the jolly fat guy a nice bottle of 25 year old……..

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