Inside the Irish

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Notre Dame gets the letter: Ovie Oghoufo, consensus three-star linebacker

OVIE OGHOUFO

Harrison High School; Farmington, Mich.

Measurements: 6’2”, 207 lbs.

Accolades: Consensus three-star; No. 9 prospect in Michigan per rivals.com and No. 36 at outside linebacker.

Other Notable Offers: Both Michigan and Michigan State pursued the in-state product, as did Boston College and Iowa State.

Projected Position: Outside linebacker.

Quick Take: Oghoufo may be the best coverage linebacker Notre Dame has in this class. Some time in a collegiate strength and conditioning program will help develop him into more of an all-around defender, improving his physicality and tackling in the running game.

Short-Term Roster Outlook: Having a specific niche of a skillset can help set a freshman apart, such as excelling as a coverage linebacker. Oghoufo applies what he gleaned from playing offense in high school to the other side of the ball. This may not be enough to get him playing time right away, but it is the type of dynamic that could lend itself to a breakthrough sooner than expected.

Long-View Depth Chart Impact: Notre Dame defensive coordinator lucked into an ideal rover candidate in current senior Drue Tranquill, who will man the position again next year. Such ready-made athletes to fill Elko’s preferred defensive wrinkle will not always be available, but it is worth considering whether a lean linebacker with strong coverage skills will fit into that positional grouping more than among traditional linebackers.

If Oghoufo fills out, however, a move inside could be within the realm of possibility.