The Irish coaching staff have been in contact with Devin O’Rourke.
Devin O’Rourke is one of the best defensive ends in the country. The 6’6, 245 pound Linoln Way-East star was named Illinois’ Defensive Player Of The Year Award over highly regarded A.J. Espenesa.
He tallied 95 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and. 9 sacks in ’16. 247 Sports has him ranked as the #99 overall recruit in the country in the 2018 class.
The Notre Dame coaching staff has been by his school to visit him more than once.
“(Clark Lea) seemed like a really great guy,” O’Rourke told me.
“He was great. He was at my school then we talked on the phone for a while after….The new staff is evaluating my film,” he explained when I asked him about a possible offer.
I asked Devin if he had been to Notre Dame for a visit
“I went to a game last fall. It was Michigan State. I want to get back up there.”
Devin O’Rourke is also one of the best wrestlers in his area. He explained to me how his wrestling fundamentals have translated to the football field.
“I’ve been wrestling since I was four….taking people down, transferring to tackling and hand fighting, same thing, you have to hand to hand fight with O lineman. All of it co-relates, definitely.”
I noticed his coaches move him around from strong side defensive end to the weak side, as well as some defensive tackle. I asked him what he preferred.
“I like to play at defensive end the most. That where I feel I’m the most effective. Honestly, I don’t have a preference of what side. I played strong side this year. There’s a few different schemes you have to learn but it doesn’t make a difference to me. I’ll play either one.”
I asked Devin if he would choose to go to school and play football at Notre Dame if the offer came.
“I think that would definitely be a possibility. It’s close and historically, a great program. An offer would be pretty important to me. It would be one of my top school’s I’m looking at right now.”
As O’Rourke visited Illinois lately on an unofficial visit, as well as holds offers from Wisconsin, Nebraska, Penn St. and Princeton, among others, I asked him if he had any leaders.
“No, I’m just waiting to see how things go.”
Notre Dame will be working very hard at rounding out their defensive line class with some difference makers, as always. So far, they have the Ademilola twins at DE and DT.
I expect them to add a handful more this cycle. Of course, they have plenty of time.