Story Poster
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | Jason Onye

May 7, 2020

Notre Dame has taken some chances on projects at defensive end in recent classes. They are the kind of players that need time to develop, but have the athletic and physical traits that could help them become NFL prospects.

They did well with Ade Ogundeji in 2016. He took his time to get into the rotation, but now is the top returning pass rusher on the team in 2020.

They haven’t had much success with Kofi Wardlow from the 2017 cycle. He’s never come close to even getting into the rotation up to this point and that doesn’t appear it will change.

Mike Elston took a chance on Alex Ehrensberger in the most recent cycle and early reports have been positive when he was on campus as an early enrollee.

Elston is taking another chance on Jason Onye‍. Like Ogundeji, he has exciting potential and he can become a significant contributor at Notre Dame. He’s also going to take time to reach that potential, which he’ll have given the depth the Irish have recruited at defensive end.

Height: 6’4’

Weight: 245

Projected Position: Strongside end

ISD Grade: 87 (3-star)

National Average Grade: 87.4 (3-star)

What he does best:

Onye certainly has college size already and a frame to get much bigger, but it’s his movement at that size that makes him so intriguing. He flashes good twitch like on this play when he closes down on this run from the backside.


He shows speed to power as a pass rusher and he does a really nice job attacking the throwing hand of the quarterback.


The most encouraging part of his game is his motor. A lot of things can be fixed with a good motor and Onye plays hard. He clearly has some work to do when it comes to defeating blocks, but his effort is undeniable.


What he needs to improve:

There’s some inconsistency with his stance. He can pop out of it at times and play with his pad level way too high.

He lacks hand violence right now and doesn’t know how to properly use his length. It doesn’t help that his level of competition is bad so he can athletically overwhelm most of the guys he is facing. He can get away with not having to attack an edge or not having pass rush moves against the players he faces.

Overall there is a lot of technical work to be done with his game and he’s someone who needs to have a senior season in order to gain the reps to improve.

What’s his ceiling?

This is exactly why Onye is someone Notre Dame is willing to take despite being so raw. His ceiling is for him to be an NFL Draft pick and an absolute beast. With proper coaching and work in Notre Dame’s strength and conditioning program, he could develop into a monster.

Size, twitch, and motor check three important boxes that some may never check. He has to put all of the other parts of his game together, but it would not be surprising to see him make a leap as a senior and then ascend up the ladder over a few years at Notre Dame.

He has the potential to be a starter and a very good one. I see him at end to start, but he could grow into a 3-technique defensive tackle or play their on passing downs.

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.