Notre Dame football snagged one of the best 3-star recruits during the last week of the recruiting period.
Kofi Wardlow: DE/LB (Washington D.C.) St. John’s College High School
Kofi Wardlow is the most underrated 3-star recruit in the 2017 recruiting class. Choosing Notre Dame on National Signing Day after flipping from Maryland, Kofi is the 57th defensive end and 9th recruit out of D.C.
Wardlow only played two seasons of high school football. Being new to the sport, it didn’t take this weak-side end much time to learn and adjust. With his physical attributes being so pristine, Wardlow was able to make an impact immediately.
Playing both defensive end and wide receiver, Wardlow developed the speed and strength to make him dangerous in all aspects of the game. Heading to Notre Dame, Mike Elko may be looking to use both of these attributes towards making Wardlow a dominant end/line backer.
Wardlow possesses some of the best physical attributes in Notre Dame’s recruiting class. At 6’3, 230 lbs, Wardlow is a monster in size and a perfect fit for both the defensive end and line backer position. His strength allows him to take on any tackle or interior linemen while using his legs and hands to force his way into the backfield.
With his speed, Wardlow has the ability to play any coverage scheme. His agility allows him to stay with running backs and slot receivers and his instincts at wide receiver give him the knowledge to make plays on the ball. Under Mike Elko’s defense, he’ll use a lot of drop back motion to draw quarterbacks attention to the nearest receiver and give Wardlow the chance to come up and try for the ball or lower his shoulder for a blow.
When it comes to pass rush, Wardlow is one of the best. He has excellent timing. In high school, he’s already developed the ability to disrupt the quarterback even if he isn’t getting the sack. On top of that, he is constantly looking for the strip. He knows to sack the passer he needs to wrap around the throwing arm which causes a lot of problems for the offense.
What’s scary about this player, though, is his underdevelopment. Wardlow is already making plays all over the field and he’s only had two years of football experience. Once he gets in a weight room with college coaches and learns the game through some of the best staff in the country, he’s going to be a monster.
Wardlow is already primed to be a freak in South Bend. Watching him, you know Elko is going to fall in love with this guy fast. He may need to sit for a season and learn more about the game, but once he’s developed he’s going to be a playmakers.
Notre Dame got a steal with Wardlow and they aren’t going to let it go to waste. He’ll build his game and instincts and become one of the best athletes on Notre Dame’s roster. Likely he’ll drop back to a line backer position, but could also be used as the rover in Elko’s defense.
He reminds a lot of Jaylon Smith. He’s agility and build give him an athletic feel while he can still come up and deliver a hit no offensive player wants to receiver. With some more experience, Wardlow is going to be one of the scariest players on this defense.