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Irish Nab Raw DE With Big Potential

This Ade Ogundeji kid has the same size feet as Yao Ming. Seriously. OK, Yao had tiny feet for a big man, but still.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

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Notre Dame received its 13th commitment in the 2016 recruiting class today when defensive end Adetokunbo Ogundeji - or just Ade to his friends - pledged to the Irish. Ogundeji is listed at 6'5" and 225 pounds; the 247 Composite has him as the #789 overall player, #48 defensive end, and #23 player in Michigan #755 overall player, #47 weakside defensive end, and #20 player in Michigan.

Updated the rankings thanks to amartinuzzi's helpful comment below.

Ogundeji is the prototypical "upside" recruit - he gives Keith Gilmore and Paul Longo tremendous raw material to mold into a force in a couple of years. Just 16 years old and standing 6'5" already with a size 18 shoe, it seems that Ogundeji has a good chance to fill out his frame to a more standard 4-3 defensive end size of, say, 6'6" and 260-270 pounds. Hypothetically, of course, because we don't just deal in hypotheticals here at OFD, we revel in them.


In addition to Notre Dame, Ogundeji holds offers from Oregon, Cal, Rutgers, and Pitt, that were all extended since the spring evaluation period, and was being evaluated by Michigan State. He committed to Western Michigan in February after a strong push by PJ Fleck's staff to try to lock him down before bigger programs found him; that's reportedly what Notre Dame's staff has in mind as well - they believe he has tremendous potential and wanted to move quickly before he visited more camps.

Recruiting Service Rankings

Rivals - 3 star (5.6 rating), not ranked

247 - 3 star (87 rating), #570 overall, #39 position (WDE), #16 in Michigan

ESPN - 3 star (78 rating), not ranked overall, #63 position (DE), #12 in Michigan

Scout - 3 star, not ranked overall, #68 position (DE), #30 in Michigan

247 Composite - 3 star (0.8517 rating), #755 overall, #47 position (WDE), #20 in Michigan


Ogundeji flashes some solid speed for his position and also some impressive strength, especially considering he's younger and somewhat lanky. On several plays here he just throws a blocker out of the way. He's a tenacious tackler who, like we said in Spencer Perry's commitment post, without fail latches onto his prey and drags it to the ground. I don't know what his exact reach is but you can also see that he has long arms and he knows how to use them.

He's extremely raw on technique. Tillery's advanced hand technique is what earned him the opportunity to play as a true freshman - that will not be the case for Ogundeji. Ade plays a little high, very common for high schoolers, and relies heavily on strength and speed to get past blockers. He'll need to clean all that up with Gilmore when he gets on campus, but the physical tools are there.

Junior Year:

Instant Impact

Go ahead and write it in ink - "RS-2016" in Ade's eligibility chart. He'll need plenty of time in the weight room and in one-on-one sessions with Gilmore before he's ready to contribute in any meaningful way.

Long Term / Career

As with any high-potential/low-polish kid, it's very difficult to project Ogundeji's long-term upside. His ceiling is probably very high, but his floor unfortunately is also quite low. The staff believes this kid has the goods, and they'll get the chance to develop him. If he is able to bulk up appropriately and takes to Gilmore's coaching, I could see him becoming an eventual starter and certainly at least a valuable rotation player. With his youth and impressive physical traits, he'll be an interesting recruit to watch.

Welcome to the family, Ade!