Notre Dame football coaches see adjustments ahead for RJ Oben

  • The Notre Dame football team has big plans for RJ Oben.
  • For right now, the former Duke defensive lineman is going through some growing pains.

Notre Dame v Duke
Notre Dame v Duke / Lance King/GettyImages

As Notre Dame football spring practice ramps up in a big way, there is a ton of optimism about what the Fighting Irish can do this coming season. One of the biggest reasons why there is so much optimism is because of the way Marcus Freeman and company hit the transfer portal.

The focus for most fans was on the offensive additions Notre Dame football brought in. Riley Leonard is the headliner of headliners but the team also brought in several wide receiver transfers as well. 

There’s also a highly touted defensive addition that came over and joined Leonard from Duke. RJ Oben is one of the biggest defensive adds the Notre Dame football team got. He was supposed to join a defensive line that was already plenty good. In fact, one of the best in the country.

The problem is that it doesn’t appear that Oben is meshing as well as Notre Dame football fans might have expected. On the other hand, it appears that he’s come to the right team. Even if the fans get a bit nervous about the Blue Devils transfer, Freeman is showing patience and caution.

The Irish head coach addressed the progress of the defensive line last week during a post-practice press conference. 

“When a guy has proven he can be an elite player” Freeman said about Oben. “Doesn't mean he doesn't still have an adjustment period from a new team, coach, etc.”

Notre Dame football transfer has some work to do

Of course, Freeman also made it clear that Oben is adjusting. He is getting better. And he’s even getting help from his new teammates. 

The Notre Dame football defense is going to be special. Rylie Mills and Howard Cross Jr. are now so locked into the defense that they teach others. And not just teaching technique but teaching how to perfect that technique

Notre Dame football is going to need RJ Oben to learn on the fly. And be ready for the regular season.