This year, Notre Dame’s Football team will be one of the youngest that Brian Kelly has ever had at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are making slight adjustments on Offense and Defense. The Defense will likely operate with three Cornerbacks most of the time. Here are Notre Dame’s players ranked 1-22, continuing with #17:
17. Romeo Okwara – Defensive End – Junior
Okwara has played in all 26 games in his Notre Dame career thus far. However, he started only one of those games, a 2013 game against the Naval Academy. In his career, Okwara has collected 26 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 0.5 sack and 1 forced fumble. However, Okwara did most of this from an Outside Linebacker position and Special Teams. He did have his hand on the ground frequently. So, the shift to Defensive End should not effect him too much. He had an excellent Blue-Gold Game this spring from that spot. Okwara tallied 4 tackles, 3.5 for loss.
In Notre Dame’s new Defensive scheme, Okwara will play the Weakside Defensive End opposite of Senior Ishaq Williams. He has the natural size and skills to thrive there.
The 6’4″ 258 lbs Junior Defensive End could provide an important pass rush for Notre Dame. In the 2014 Blue-Gold Game, Okwara collected 3 sacks. It is important to add that Okwara made these 3 sacks under rules that favored the Offense. Since Aaron Lynch left Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish have not had an exceptional and consistent pass rusher.