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Notre Dame Dialed In on 2024 DL Nnamdi Ogboko

November 15, 2023

November is normally the time for weekly Heat Checks, but Notre Dame’s 2024 recruiting class is just about wrapped up as the Early Signing Period quickly approaches. 

Notre Dame currently holds the No. 8 recruiting class and the staff is dialed in on flipping 2024 Georgia defensive lineman Nnamdi Ogboko‍. 

The 6-foot-4, 335-pounder is simply a player Notre Dame hasn’t had in many years. In fact, you’d have to go back to Jarron Jones (6’5, 315) and the late Louis Nix III (6’2, 342) to find a body type similar to Ogboko’s who played for the Irish. 

It’s no secret that having a dominating interior defensive lineman creates significant issues for offenses, but ISD’s Jamie Uyeyama also believes size is a key piece to the puzzle and it’s something Notre Dame is missing on the roster, which is why Ogboko has been priority No. 1. 

“The hardest player to block in all of football is a dominating nose guard,” said Uyeyama. “Someone that big can disrupt an entire play simply with a good first step. Someone like that is capable of wrecking an entire game because it forces blocking schemes to dedicate two players to him on every snap, which is why Georgia and Alabama are always looking to add those body types to their defense.”

Notre Dame has certainly recruited and developed the interior of the defensive line well over the years and Howard Cross III is a perfect example of that development. Cross is considered undersized, but he’s been as productive as any interior lineman this season as he’s tallied 54 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss in 2023 and Al Washington has likely made that known in this recruitment. 

Where does Notre Dame stand with Ogboko? 

It’s safe to say the Irish are firmly in the mix as Ogboko visited Notre Dame for the Ohio State game in September. 

Notre Dame isn’t the only school trying to flip Ogboko, but certainly seems like the academic piece is important here as he recorded straight A’s his last semester. It will be interesting to see if he ends up taking a few more visits before the Early Signing Period.

As of right now, the Bulldogs hold four commitments from players who could end up inside with more on the board as there is speculation Georgia could take as many as eight total defensive linemen. 

But will a place like Georgia be patient with his development? Remember, Ogboko has only played two seasons of high school football, so his best football is still ahead of him, but he also needs development.

Georgia certainly has proven it can develop top draft picks along the defensive line and there’s no debate about that. Ogboko saw that firsthand last weekend as he was in Athens for the Bulldogs win over Mississippi State with guys like Jordan Davis in attendance. 

Another interesting piece is that Ogboko is at least looking at which schools want him versus schools that want him for his brother, Ekene Ogboko‍, who is a top 2026 defensive lineman. 

What’s next? 

South Garner (N.C.) head coach Brian Yarbrough told ISD last month that Ogboko would evaluate his options after the season as Georgia continues to recruit interior prospects.

“Once the season is over, he will sit down and reevaluate what makes the most sense,” Yarbrough said in October. “He is the man of his house. What makes the most sense for his development, student-athlete, financially and what place can help him grow as a person?

“He has to revisit everything. How am I going to develop? Am I going to get the reps to develop and how do they see me in their scheme? He’s going to spend some time looking at three or four schools and figure out which one is best for him.” 

If the Irish can pull off a flip, it would give Notre Dame one of the deepest defensive line classes in the country as the current four-man haul has been extremely productive this fall. Interior lineman Sean Sevillano Jr.‍ boasts 28 tackles for loss and seven sacks while defensive ends Loghan Thomas‍ and Bryce Young‍ have combined for 23 sacks as seniors. 

It’ll be an interesting final month for Notre Dame as they can devote everything towards flipping Ogboko as they look to put a bow on a Top 10 class. 

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