As each football season gets closer, Bruce Fledman releases his “Freak List.” Feldman, now with The Athletic has done this since the early 2000’s and describes his list as such:
Showcase guys who generate buzz inside their programs by displaying the type of rare physical abilities that wow even those folks who are used to observing gifted athletes every day.
Bruce is counting them down from 50, and has finished his list. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were nicely represented at #37 with cornerback Troy Pride Jr. earlier this week, and it was just released today that defensive end Julian Okwara is ranked #10 for Feldman’s Freaks.
As was the case with Pride, it is Okwara’s speed that has him on this list (with a special boost from his 6’5” 241 pound frame). Okwara can achieve a top speed of 21 mph — so he should have no problem running down a skunkbear from Toledo.
Okwara is one of the keys to the Irish defense this year, and sacks are a huge priority (duh). Brian Kelly said in the spring that they showed Julian all of the missed sacks he had in 2018, and if he would have got just half of them — he would have been the top sack man in the country last season. Many believe that in 2019 Okwara could break the school’s single season record of 13.5 sacks held by Irish legend, Justin Tuck.
Julian Okwara had 38 tackles and 8 sacks in 2018 along with one interceptions against the Michigan Wolverines.