Irish Nab 16-Year-Old Linebacker to Class

Another week has gone by and the Irish have added yet another recruit to their 2012 class. Romeo Okwara, a 16-year-old linebacker from Charlotte, North Carolina, announced over his Facebook account that he will be playing football at Notre Dame for the next four seasons after visiting the school with his father on Thursday.

Okwara is in his senior season at the same high school that produced Irish linebacker Prince Shembo. If he can turn into the type of player that Shembo has already become, the coaching staff is going to be thrilled with this pick up.

The youngster comes a bit under the radar. He is a four-star on Rivals and a three-star with a 77 rating on ESPN’s recruiting service, but he has yet to be ranked by Scout for some reason. His young age might have something to do with that.

Despite not being ranked by Scout, Okwara still had a very impressive offer list before committing to the Irish. His offers include Michigan, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, South Florida, Virginia Tech and a couple of others who are considered to be top football programs in the country.

The newest member of the Notre Dame family is expected to be an onside linebacker in Bob Diaco’s 3-4 defense. Already nearly 6-foot-5 at only 16, it is very likely that he could grow an inch or two before he even gets on campus. That could mean that Diaco might switch him to the defensive line, but we will have to wait and see.

Whatever position he plays, it looks like the Irish got a diamond in the rough with Okwara. It may take him a year or two to turn into a productive player on defense, but the raw talent and skills are there for the coaching staff to work with.

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