Feb. 1, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly speaks at a press conference for national signing day at the Guglielmnio Athletics Complex. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Prospect Evaluation: Notre Dame Prospect Ebenezer Ogundeko


After being out of the mix for this 4 star recruit from Brooklyn, New York, the Irish are back in. According to rivals.com he wants to take an official visit to Notre Dame, he just doesn’t know when. The next two weeks he is visiting Florida and Ole Miss. Florida is said to be his top school, but that could change, since it has many times. Arizona State and Clemson round out his top 4 schools, but Syracuse and Notre Dame have outside shots at landing Ogundeko. I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high as an Irish fan, but it is always possible.

 

Strengths

Listed at 6’3’’ 227 pounds this is a good size for an outside backer. Now there have been some questions as to what he would be on defense. He is listed as an outside linebacker, but in high school will play defensive end most of the time. Well in the 3-4 scheme he is a linebacker that is usually the first one to rush the quarterback if they were to bring 4 defenders. Prince Shembo’s role on the defense would be a good comparison as to what Ogundeko would do on defense. His pass rush is what I see the most on his film and with him always drawing a double team, while still making a play tells me he has an arsenal of moves. He uses the dip and rip to perfection combining quickness of his hands and feet to get off blocks to make the tackle. What I like the most about Ebenezer is his ability to pursue the play from the weak side of the field and make the tackle. He plays under control and doesn’t get too far up field very often. This allows him to make good pursuit angles on the ball carrier. Ogundeko usually uses an outside speed rush, but has paired it with a spin. Right now it still needs some work with the spin move being a little slow, but that will come with better quickness after contact. Playing under control is his game, not too flashy and not too careful. There is a way to play the hybrid position and that is to stay at home and never over pursue or over step on the first couple seconds of an offensive play. Avoiding these things keep him in position to make plays.

 

Weaknesses

There are some technique issues when it comes to shedding blocks, now don’t get me wrong he can shed blocks effectively, but if he had better leverage and form he would shed the blocks faster and more effectively. Too often he is high in his stance when fighting to get off a block, which hinders his ability to be quick with his feet. If he would better his stance he would have better leverage and be able to use the quickness he has to get off the blocks faster. His tackling can look a little inconsistent, with tendencies to leave his feet or lunge at a ball carrier too high. These technique things are fixable, but will take a good adjustment especially when in college with much better athletes.

 

Overall, the 20th ranked outside linebacker Ogundeko is a good recruit that would be a great successor to Prince Shembo. It is a long shot for the Irish to land him, but never count the Irish out of any prospect. He wouldn’t have the size to be an every down defensive end, but a third down pass rusher and an every down outside linebacker is very realistic. If he would commit to the Irish it wouldn’t be until his sophomore or junior year for significant playing time.

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Tags: Football Notre Dame Fighting Irish