Notre Dame Football: Film Breakdown – Azeez Ojulari

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Azeez Ojulari fits the bill as the pass rushing defensive end that Notre Dame football craves.

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Azeez Ojulari was offered by Notre Dame on Thursday as the Irish staff continues to work on adding explosive, long and tall defensive ends to their recruiting class. Azeez is one of the several talented athletes from Georgia who has received an offer from Notre Dame in the last month.

There’s a lot to like about Ojulari’s game so I broke down his film to see how he would fit into Notre Dame’s defense.

The 6’4, 225-pound Marietta standout is an explosive and polished athlete who shows refined pass rush techniques that allow him to disrupt the backfield in a variety of ways. He shows a good burst off the line that I feel could get even better with more hard work.

Ojulari put his honed hand techniques on display often. You can see him execute a well-rehearsed rip move that he often uses in his junior season Hudl highlight film, especially while bringing a rush from the edge.

What I noticed about his pass rush is that it often attacks the B gap (the gap between the guard and tackle), and he impresses me with how effectively he can apply pressure from the interior. He shows he’s talented and strong enough to fight off blocks from big, talented lineman.

When in situations where the offense tries to move the ball outside, he shows good patience yet acts aggressively when keeping containment. When the quarterback leaves the pocket on a broken play or on a bootleg, he shows good pursuit and closes on the ball well with his good speed.

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He isn’t a burner by any means, but he does have enough speed to be effective at the defensive end position in the competitive Class 7A in Georgia that Marietta is a part of. He doesn’t seem to be a defender who can be beaten with speed easily.

One thing I really like about Ojulari is that he proves that he understands how to take the ball carrier down, rather than trying to get the huge hit. He gets a good grip, wraps and secures the tackle, not something you always see from high school players.

Ojulari has ideal length, height, and frame which will allow him to add the weight that will be necessary to compete at the college level.

A trait that I see on film with Ojulari is that he’s a very disciplined player who maintains effective pad level and doesn’t seem to bail on his assignment or bite on misdirection when the offense attempts to throw the defense off. This will bode very well for him in the future.

Notre Dame would love to add Azeez Ojulari to their 2018 recruiting class. His combination of notable football traits, size, natural athleticism and playmaking ability were impressive enough for the Irish staff to offer without having much contact with him before they made the offer Thursday.

The trick with him will be to get him on campus. I spoke with Azeez yesterday and he informed me that he will certainly look to plan a trip to South Bend. Once he gets on campus, you can be certain that staff will show him why he would be a great fit at Notre Dame.