Notre Dame Impresses Ekanayake

January 22, 2017
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Notre Dame hosted several official visitors this weekend, but the Irish also hosted 2017 athlete Cameron Ekanayake. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder is from nearby Edwardsburg (Mich.) and has several ties to the program.

“I am actually 10-15 minutes away from campus,” Ekanayake told Irish Sports Daily. “I live right on the border of Michigan and actually lived in Indiana for a while too.

“My mom works in the investment office at Notre Dame, so it’s always been a life long dream of mine to go to Notre Dame. My mom obviously would like me to go there. I have applied and I got in with early action.”

Ekanayake has been in contact with several prestigious colleges over the last few months, but the preferred walk-on offer from Notre Dame intrigues him, as he has already been admitted.

“Notre Dame is looking at me as a preferred walk-on,” stated Ekanayake. “We got in touch pretty late and it really helps that I have already been admitted to the school. They don’t have to play a card to get me into school. I’ve been talking to Coach (Dave) Peloquin and Coach (Brian) Polian and they like what I can bring to the table.”

The Michigan native played just about every position for Edwardsburg over his career, but Ekanayake knows his future is likely on the defensive side of the football in college.  

“In the recruiting process, I have been considered an athlete,” he stated. “At the college level, I am looking more like a defensive player. Notre Dame has talked about me being a strong safety or outside linebacker depending what kind of size I can put on.

“At Notre Dame, I know my best opportunity on the field would be somewhere on special teams. I think they’d be looking at me there, but Coach Peloquin also touched on wide receiver too. My high school put me where they needed me for game matchups, so it was hard to get a good key on my best position.”  

I want to go somewhere that is going to make me feel uncomfortable and unsafe. I don’t want to pick the safe option. - Cameron Ekanayake
Ekanayake has big goals, so it’s not surprising to hear the list of schools he has visited during his process.  

“This summer I went to Harvard, Yale and Columbia,” said Ekanayake. “I love football, but I am really big on academics. I am really looking for good programs where I can thrive. I’ve been looking at the University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon and MIT too and they’ve offered me a spot on their team.”

It’s obvious big-time academics are important to Ekanayake, as he has some big goals for his future and is basing his decision off the best fit to help him succeed off the field.  

“I want to look at academics first,” Ekanayake explained. “My plan is to get my Master’s in Business, but I also want to do my Pre-Med requisites while I am going through my under-grad. From there, I want to go to Harvard Med or John Hopkins Med to get my medical degree, then start to go into surgery to become a specialized surgeon.

“That’s what I need to look at. I want to go someplace I want to get a good GPA and I want the schools to have a good Business program, which is why Notre Dame is so appealing to me. I want to go somewhere that has strong Science and I know Notre Dame has a dual-major program, so that’s a big factor.”

On the football side, Notre Dame has the chance to make Ekanayake uncomfortable and that’s exactly what he wants.

“People ask me if going to Notre Dame is a good or bad thing because it’s just 15 minutes away,” said Ekanayake. “The big thing for me is growing up, I loved Notre Dame because it was so close, but with football on the horizon – I want to go somewhere that is going to make me feel uncomfortable and unsafe. I don’t want to pick the safe option.

“I was assuming Notre Dame would be the safe option, but now with football, there are going to be a lot of challenges. I want to go somewhere I can grow the most.”


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