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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame DE Ovie Oghoufo: 'The sky is the limit'

April 24, 2020

It's been a common thing to see Notre Dame defensive linemen make a significant jump in year three. 

Defensive end Ovie Oghoufo is a prime candidate to make that jump in 2020 as he flashed at times last fall with 20 tackles in eight games. 

"The sky is the limit," Oghoufo told Irish Sports Daily. "I have so much more room to improve. Before spring ball, I was able to really see I could be great. I know I can be way better than what I am now." 

The bad news is the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder might have to wait a little longer than normal to showcase himself as the world deals with the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"It's been different with all that's going on, but at the same time, I'm trying to stay ready," stated Oghoufo. "Eventually, this is going to end and there aren't excuses for not being ready. We have to come back and do what we need to do."

The Lathrup Village (Mich.) native and his teammates have all had to adjust this spring as classes and workouts aren't on campus. 

Oghoufo has continued to work on his strength with resistance bands, but it's also been a challenge as the gyms are closed in Michigan. 

"It's harder, but I've always thought of myself as a self-motivated person," explained Oghoufo. "It's really about being able to stay motivated, but at the same time, being self-motivated, it hasn' been too crazy doing the workouts and everything.

"I would say the access to stuff is tough. A lot of gyms are closed in my town, so not having access to weight rooms - that's the biggest one. Online classes haven't been too bad." 

Julian Okwara is off to the NFL and while Daelin Hayes returns, Oghoufo knows there are plenty of reps available, but he has to earn them. 

To earn those reps, it starts with Oghoufo staying disciplined at the Vyper position.

"It's a position where a lot of plays put in front of you to make, but you have to be disciplined to make them routinely and consistently," Oghoufo stated. "You need to be disciplined on the snap count or having an awareness to get off the ball every single time as hard as you can." 

Rick Kimball/ISD
Ovie Oghoufo 

Discipline might be a factor to get him on the field, but his weight has always been the No. 1 focus. 

Oghoufo arrived at Notre Dame around 210 pounds and he's put on close to 30 over the last two years. 

"I'm still focused on putting on a little bit more weight," said Oghoufo. "I'm a little under 240, so I'm trying to stay consistent right around there. 

"What I really need to focus on is probably becoming an elite pass rusher. I know I can do it, so it's about continuing to work and working on my craft. I have also to be able to stop the run and be effective in the run game." 

As he enters year three, Oghoufo will also be counted on to help bring along early enrollee Jordan Botelho. 

Notre Dame got winter workouts and one spring practice, but that was enough for Oghoufo to know Botelho brought something unique to the table. 

"I like Jordan a lot," Oghoufo said. "I like his mentality. He has a killer mindset and I like that. It's what we need in our defense. 

"We're bringing in a culture where we're trying to cause havoc to every team we play. For Jordan to come in with that mindset, it's about putting the technique and consistencies together. I think he can be a great player." 

As for his own goals, Oghoufo isn't shy about them, but it's still a quiet confidence.

"My goal is to dominate," said Oghoufo. "I want to blow up the charts. I feel my coaches and my strength staff have put me in a position to go out there and dominate. 

"I know I can be a key contributor to this defense. I'm going to work my tail off and try to hit all those goals." 

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