Notre Dame Adds Bennett Okotcha

When Kerry Cooks and Brian Kelly traveled to Texas last week to extend a scholarship offer to running back Cam McDaniel, they ended up offering his teammate, cornerback Bennett Okotcha, as well.  McDaniel committed to the Irish almost on the spot.  A week later, McDaniel’s best friend joined him in committing to Notre Dame.

Okotcha (6’1″, 175 lbs) had previously been a Wisconsin commitment, but when the Irish came calling last week, he listened.  It didn’t take long for the Texas native to decide that Notre Dame was the place for him either despite not having visited campus.

The main reason Okotcha jumped at the Notre Dame offer without stepping foot on campus was education according to Irish Illustrated.

“Definitely education,” Okotcha said of the main factors in his change of heart. “Even though you can get a great education at Wisconsin, I feel like I can get a better education at Notre Dame. I know there’s less people that go to that school. I know whenever I go to a classroom there will be less people and I’ll get to know my teachers better. It just helps me out with my ability to get the best education that I can.”

Being able to continue his football career with his best friend played a large role in his decision as well according to Irish Sports Daily.

“We’ve talked about this ever since we’ve been in high school, about us playing college together. At that point it wasn’t that realistic because neither of us had been offered a scholarship. I was on B-team our freshman year, so when we talked about it it wasn’t real realistic for me. Now that it’s actually happening, it’s amazing.

Notre Dame took notice of Okotcha after a strong senior season that had other programs taking notice as well.  Reports were Oklahoma, among other programs, had a renewed interest in the talented cornerback.

With Okotcha on board, Notre Dame is up to 19 verbal commitments in this years class – five of which are now in the defensive backfield.  Okotcha joins Matthias Farley, Josh Attkinson, Jalen Brown, and Eilar Hardy.  All five prospects are at least 6’0″ and 175 lbs giving the Irish some flexibility.  After missing out on defensive backs in the last few recruiting classes, seeing five commitments in the secondary is a welcomed sight.

Since the season ending victory over USC, Notre Dame has added three commitments to the recruiting class of 2011 with Okotcha joining Cam McDaniel and quarterback Everett Golson.  It’s amazing what a season ending victory over USC can do for recruiting momentum, isn’t it?

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  1. I like the feel of this class as well. To make it feel better, I’d love to see a few more offensive and defensive lineman added. Adding depth and talent to the lines makes a 7 win season a 9-10 win season.

  2. This class has a wonderful “well rounded” feel to it. I like the planning for the future that’s gone into recruiting. 5 DB’s at least 6 ft and 175 lbs. in high school? That essentially means we have 5 possible LB’s, 5 safeties, 5 cornerbacks, or 5 wide receivers, depending on our need. Great, great recruiting mentality…kudos on the flexibility!

    Side note, I’m so happy for these kids (Cam & Bennett), what a wonderful thing to be able to take on the next stages of your life with your best friend by your side…I love it!!

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