As much as four-star defensive end Ken Ekanem
wanted to visit Notre Dame
for the Oct. 22 recruitapallooza against USC
, it would not fit into his schedule.
However, the Centreville High (Clifton, Va.) standout thinks enough of the Irish to have them in his top five, which he will unveil in the next few days, and he plans on visiting South Bend, Ind., after his season concludes.
"I'm going to take my official visit to Notre Dame after my football season," the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Ekanem said. "I just got off the phone with (assistant) coach (Charley) Molnar, and he was saying it was fine, and he was fine with it."
Ekanem stays in consistent contact with Molnar, his recruiting coach, and has paid attention to how the season has unfolded.
"(Molnar) was saying how it would be a good place for me academic-wise, and how I would fit in the system," Ekanem said. "When I can, I do (watch them). The last game I saw is when they played Pitt. I actually watched when they played Michigan, too. I thought Notre Dame had it."
Ekanem released four of the schools he plans to make official visits to, and a fifth will be added soon.
"I am narrowing it down to five, but I only know four right now," Ekanem said. "The four of them are Notre Dame, Oregon, Virginia Tech and newly added Pittsburgh. I'm kind of cancelling out the schools that don't keep in contact with me, and that just shows they don't have that much interest in me as a player or a student for their school. It's coming down to two or three schools."
The closest of his four known targets is Virginia Tech, and a few times he planned to make the trip but did not. And with Centreville 6-0 and approaching the toughest part of its schedule, Ekanem decided to wait until after his season to make his trips.
"All schools are fine with it, even Virginia Tech," he said. "I've been telling Virginia Tech since the beginning of the season I was going to make it there for one of their games, but I've been delaying it and delaying it. Coach Foster understood."
On the field, Ekanem is experiencing the type of attention the 24th-rated defensive end prospect should expect as opposing defenses are game-planning against him.
"Last week against Robinson (High), I either got double teamed or cut block, so I really couldn't play my technique," he said. "Last week they only ran to my side once. The week before they didn't run to my side at all, but I like pursuing from the backside."
Ekanem has seven sacks and he said he is averaging "six or seven tackles" a game. And his attention on the field is matched by the attention he is getting off the field, but he is fine with it as he has learned to manage his time.
"Surprisingly, I don't get a lot of homework," he said. "I only get homework, really, in one class. I have a lot of time to spare. Everyone says how stressful the recruiting process is, but it really is how you deal with it. You have to control it. You can't let coaches pressure you into doing things you don't want to do."
Centreville High (Clifton, Va.) four-star defensive end Ken Ekanem knows four of the schools he make officially visit, and Notre Dame made the list. But when will the 6-foot-3, 240-pound standout be heading to campus? He fills IrishEyes.com readers in on his plans inside.
Centreville High's Ken Ekanem is readying to release his top five ...