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Notre Dame gets the letters: LBs Osita Ekwonu and Jack Kiser

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OSITA EKWONU
Providence Day High School; Charlotte, N.C.
Measurements: 6’2”, 215 lbs.
Accolades: Consensus four-star prospect; No. 12 inside linebacker in the country, per rivals.com, No. 10 prospect in North Carolina and No. 228 overall.

Other Notable Offers: He could have chosen from Alabama, Auburn or Michigan, but Ekwonu’s decision seemed to always center around Notre Dame.

Projected Position: Linebacker.

Quick Take: With athleticism to spare, Ekwonu could be a candidate at rover early in his career. Irish defensive coordinator Clark Lea can never have enough of those, but it is more likely Ekwonu stays inside to utilize his physicality, even if still needing a bit of weight to emphasize that.

Short-Term Roster Outlook: Notre Dame is about to lose two multi-year starters at inside linebacker, but it is hard to envision a freshman filling that role in 2019. Ekwonu may contribute, a la Bo Bauer this season, but much more than that would be a surprise.

Long-View Depth Chart Impact: Further opportunity will await Ekwonu. Some time in the weight room and an understanding of Lea’s system could quickly vault Ekwonu into the rotation, as soon as 2020, such is the dearth of experience at linebacker with Drue Tranquill and Te’von Coney on their ways out.


(rivals.com)

JACK KISER
Pioneer High School; Royal Center, Ind.
Measurements: 6’2”, 210 lbs.
Accolades: Consensus three-star prospect; Mr. Indiana Football; No. 15 recruit in Indiana, per rivals.com.

Other Notable Offers: This recruitment came down to Kiser’s in-state options of Notre Dame and Purdue.

Projected Position: Linebacker.

Quick Take: The comparisons to Drue Tranquill will be unfair to Kiser — that is a high bar to reach — but they are also too obvious to miss. An in-state, under-recruited linebacker that chooses the Irish over the Boilermakers? Kiser’s eventual showing will depend as much on physical development as Tranquill’s did on finding the right position.

Short-Term Roster Outlook: Perhaps Kiser gets some special teams work in four games in 2019, but that should be it considering the other linebackers in this class and the strong haul a year ago.

Long-View Depth Chart Impact: Kiser will have to earn any significant playing time, simply because Notre Dame has excelled in linebacker recruiting across the last two cycles. That is not to say he will not be able to do so. It is just acknowledging who his stiffest competition will be.

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