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Onwualu Gets Open
You might not be able to see it with the naked eye, but James Onwualu has a chip firmly entrenched on his shoulder and it’s driving the 2013 Notre Dame wide receiver commit to continuing going out to compete.
The Cretin-Derham Hall (St. Paul, Minn.) star brought his chip with him to the Nike Football Training Camp in Champaign, Ill., this past weekend and it provided all of the motivation he needed.
“I think I showed the ability to get a little bit more separation and I continue to show the power in my routes and just being physical,” the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder said.
“I think I showed a little bit more quickness and speed. Obviously, that's something I still have to work on as a bigger receiver, but I definitely showed improvement from the last time I played.”
Onwualu also did his best to see how he stacked up with fellow 2013 wideout Laquon Treadwell, from Crete, Ill. Treadwell may have walked away with MVP honors among receivers, but Onwualu feels like he held his own.
“I tried to go before him or right after him and kind of be right next to him the whole day,” Onwualu said of Treadwell. “I want to compare myself and have others compare me. I think I'm very close to his talent.”
Onwualu did enough to earn an invitation to The Opening, a prestigious event that will match 150 of the nation's top prospects against each other in Oregon next month.
“I'm pretty excited about it,” said Onwualu. “It’s huge for me. I continue to try to prove myself and prove that I am a four-star and I'm a good player. I feel like this definitely proves that. I showed what I had on Sunday. It's a huge accomplishment.”
He had his eyes set on The Opening when he arrived in Champaign.
“The main goals were getting that invite and continuing to prove to people that I'm one of the best receivers,” he said. “I continue to say that I think I am underrated and I love going out and proving to people that I'm one of the best.”
That challenge will continue in Oregon at The Opening.
“Obviously, I've never played with as many great players as this,” he said. “I've played with good players at each camp like Jourdan Lewis (2013 Michigan cornerback commit), that's always a good competition, but here, every rep is going to be the best. I’m excited for that.”
Onwualu chose the Irish over offers from schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin among others. He’s been a deputy recruiting coordinator of sorts for Notre Dame’s 2013 recruiting class and will be back on campus next week with a host of fellow commits and prospects.
He appears to be well on his way to proving the naysayers wrong, but it’s doubtful that chip will be going anywhere anytime soon.
Rochell Is In
After Jaylon Smith committed to Notre Dame last Saturday, Irish fans thought this could be an epic week recruiting on the defense's side of the ball if defensive end Isaac Rochell also popped with his pledge for the Notre Dame.
On Tuesday, the four-star defensive end became the 14th member of Notre Dame's recruiting class.
Many fans were wondering if Rochell would commit to Notre Dame after making his second visit to Notre Dame in two months. The fact that Rochell left campus and didn't want to commit until late this fall got some fans discouraged, but in reality he just wanted to think things over.
"I just didn't want to make any rash decisions," Rochell told Irish Sports Daily. "I felt like I needed to show my brother what Notre Dame was about and he loved it just like the rest of my family. I decided that I didn't want to wait any longer because I can't really see another school matching what Notre Dame has to offer."
When Rochell left campus Monday evening, he knew where he wanted to go to college and he knew it was more a matter of when than if.
"Even before the second visit, I knew that Notre Dame was the place for me," he shared. "My family and I take academics very serious and that's something that's also great about Notre Dame. The academic opportunities and football opportunities combined are too much to pass up."
Rochell is the second defensive line recruit in the 2013 class, joining Ohio athlete Jacob Matuska. The Georgia native has seen how the Irish coaching staff has recruited in prior years and he's excited about the future of the program.
"We have a great class right now and Coach (Brian) Kelly has done a great job recruiting his first two years as well," he noted. "Also, the type of people that are at Notre Dame are genuinely good people and that makes a huge difference. I think that Notre Dame is headed for a lot of success for years to come."
One thing that will make Irish fans smile is that Rochell plans to completely shutdown the recruiting process and start helping to add to the Irish Mob.
"I'm solid, I'm 100 percent Irish," he shared. "I'm ready to have a great senior season and get myself up to Notre Dame and help us win a national championship. It feels good to have this process over, but I'm also very thankful for it because it was a blessing. Not many people are blessed with the opportunity that I am and I plan to take full advantage of this college opportunity."
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Army to play Notre Dame in 2013
The traditional football rivalry of Army and Notre Dame is back.
The Black Knights and the Irish will meet in 2013 at Yankee Stadium, a source told the Times Herald-Record Thursday.
The two independent teams, which last played in the Bronx in 2010, could also be negotiating more games, the source said.
The Times Herald-Record reported last November that the teams were in talks for a three-game series with at least one game at West Point's Michie Stadium.
Army and Notre Dame have met 50 times, but only played four times since 1995. The old Yankee Stadium hosted 22 games in the series.
Army previously released its 2013 schedule with 12 games. Army is allowed to add a 13th game by NCAA rule because it plays at Hawaii.
The Black Knights have open dates in 2013 on Oct. 26, Nov. 16 and Nov. 23.
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