Notre Dame gets the letter: Inexperienced defensive end Jason Onye
Bishop Hendricken, Warwick, R.I.
Measurements: 6’5”, 248 lbs.Accolades: A consensus three-star recruit, Onye is the No. 44 defensive end in the class, per rivals.com.
Other Notable Offers: Despite a limited high school playing career, Onye was chased by Michigan, Penn State and Virginia Tech, among a myriad of others.
Projected Position: Onye’s size and strength should eventually position him to be the strongside defensive end, a la Ade Ogundeji currently and Khalid Kareem in the recent past.
Quick Take: Onye has played only one full season of high school football, with a second hopefully coming this spring. He is rawer than raw, and given Mike Elston’s penchant for developing talent of late — Ogundeji being Exhibit A — a pile of clay the size and shape of Onye should turn out quite well.
Short-Term Roster Outlook: Notre Dame values defensive line depth, so even though Onye is raw, his time to contribute may come soon. With Ogundeji out the door following this season, the Irish will lean on current junior Justin Ademilola with support from rarely-seen sophomore NaNa Osafo-Mensah. The latter has yet to prove himself, so if he falters, Notre Dame will turn to Onye right away.
Long-View Depth Chart Impact: The universal eligibility mulligan courtesy of the coronavirus may mean Ademilola still has three seasons of eligibility remaining, but it should be assumed he will leave no later than after his fifth year in 2022. By that point, Onye will have doubled his football experience, literally, and added some muscle to his frame to ready for an increased role.
If that frame continues to grow, a possibility part and parcel with a prospect this raw, then a move inside to tackle would not be surprising.
SIGNING DAY COVERAGE
— On Signing Day, remember Notre Dame’s surge has hinged on three-stars
— A Signing Day surprise: Four-star safety Khari Gee, flipped from LSU
— A Signing Day surprise: Consensus four-star RB Audric Estime, flipped from Michigan State
— Consensus four-star QB Tyler Buchner
— Trio of four-star WRs in Lorenzo Styles, Deion Colzie and Jayden Thomas
— Five-star offensive tackle Blake Fisher and four-star guard Rocco Spindler
— Consensus four-star LB Prince Kollie, the day’s greatest worry
— Hawaiian LB Kahanu Kia
— Cornerbacks Philip Riley and Ryan Barnes
— Three-star cornerbacks JoJo Johnson and Chance Tucker
— Consensus three-star safety Justin Walters
— Tight ends Cane Berrong and Mitchell Evans— Consensus four-star defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio— Pair of California defensive ends, Will Schweitzer and Devin Aupiu
— Three more offensive linemen in Caleb Johnson, Pat Coogan & Joe Alt
— Inexperienced defensive end Jason Onye
— Kicker Joshua Bryan