A three-star in recruiting only, DE prospect Darren Agu commits to Notre Dame

Darren Agu
rivals.com
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Notre Dame has earned a benefit of the doubt when recruiting three-star defensive ends. After developing the likes of Jamir Jones and Ade Ogundeji into bona fide collegiate contributors and NFL possibilities, the Irish have shown an ability to identify nascent talent and develop it over a four-year stretch.

But when it comes to consensus three-star defensive end Darren Agu (Ruban Gap-Nacoochee School; Ga.) and his Friday afternoon commitment, Notre Dame does not need that benefit of the doubt. If the No. 47 prospect in Georgia, per rivals.com, signs as a three-star recruit in six months, it will be a surprise, and if so, he will be viewed as a three-star in recruiting only.

The Irish offered Agu at the start of the month, and he clearly did not wait to seize that opportunity.

“It’s a huge offer; you can’t pass up on it,” Agu said to Blue & Gold Illustrated. “They could easily get someone else at my position, so as soon as I got the offer, I wanted to make it official as soon as possible.”

His ranking comes as a result of two factors. One, Agu primarily plays tight end in high school. Secondly, he only moved to the United States about a year ago (born in Ireland, raised in England) and thus has logged just one season of traditional football for college coaches to evaluate.

Despite those hurdles, Notre Dame and plenty of others have quickly realized Agu could be a unique player. His offer list reads not like a usual three-star’s, with eight SEC offers (including Alabama and Auburn) and nine ACC offers (including Florida State and North Carolina), along with Penn State, Colorado and Iowa State to round out the Power Five conferences.

“College coaches say I’m very athletic for my size,” Agu said. “They think I can pass rush or drop into coverage. I could play tight end or defensive end at the next level.”

His ability to maintain a block, offensively speaking, indicates an ease with contact, and those blocks contain some power, as well. At 6-foot-6, though, it is Agu’s length that suggests the most promise at defensive end.

Well, that 6-foot-6 length plus his speed. Reportedly, Agu recently ran a 4.75-second 40-yard dash at a camp. For context, former Notre Dame ends Daelin Hayes and Ogundeji clocked 40 times of 4.69 and 4.71, respectively, at the Irish Pro Day two weeks ago.

Simply put, Notre Dame found a four-star prospect in a three-star’s ranking, making Agu the 12th commitment in the class of 2022 and third defensive end, joining Tyson Ford and Aiden Gobaira.