The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about all of them. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2018 season.
#47 Kofi Wardlow
Kofi Wardlow is a sophomore defensive end from Washington, D.C. who did not play in 2017, meaning he still has 4 years of eligibility remaining at a position that will be in huge need of depth in two seasons, when the current junior class of Daelin Hayes, Khalid Kareem, and Julian Okwara have all graduated.
Wardlow was a last-minute addition to the 2017 class, an undersized defensive end with raw but impressive talent and physical abilities. The Irish saw potential in him and were able to flip him from Maryland in the final hour. After not playing last season, Wardlow will look to see his first real action in this 2018 season.
3 Things To Know About Kofi Wardlow
- He didn’t begin playing football until his junior year of high school at St. John’s College in Washington, DC (same high school as freshman CB DJ Brown). His raw athleticism enabled him to immediately become a force on the field, though — he had 84 tackles, including 28 for loss and 9.5 sacks, during his senior season
- He was originally committed to the Maryland Terrapins, but flipped to Notre Dame on 2017 National Signing Day after a late push by new Defensive Coordinator Mike Elko. He was the final player in that 2017 class to sign with the Irish
- He did not play last season, preserving a year of eligibility as he added a good amount of heft to his athletic frame — Wardlow came to ND weighing roughly 210 pounds, but is now up to 240.
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Country, Condiment, or Canon
Identifying the player as either a country, condiment, or member of the Star Wars Canon.
This is definitely a smaller-name condiment that maybe gets overlooked during the favorite condiment discussion considering it might not work in every situation, but if you combine it with the right recipe it has a ton of potential, even if you weren’t ready for it to be your condiment of choice initially. Kofi Wardlow is similar — a 3-star recruit who has a lot of raw potential but needs the right mix of development and coaching to turn him into a big-time FBS contributor.
Like tzatziki, I think Wardlow will end up delivering delicious returns for the Notre Dame football program once the timing is right.
I don’t think Wardlow will be able to break into the regular rotation at defensive end this season, barring extreme circumstances. With Daelin Hayes, Khalid Kareem, and Julian Okwara entrenched as regulars, plus Ade Ogundeji and Jamir Jones potentially being physically ready to contribute at the position, Kofi will probably remain buried on the depth chart during his sophomore season.
However, considering his size and athleticism and some of the praise he’s gained from the coaching staff due to his efforts in practice, I think Wardlow will be a contributor on special teams, enabling him to get on the field and see some action before potentially working into the rotation in 2019.