It’s been over a week now since Notre Dame landed a commitment from Fort Worth defensive end NaNa Osafo-Mensah and they had to beat out the looming presence of the University of Texas within his home state to do it.
However, if you listen to Osafo-Mensah explain his decision, Texas never really had a chance despite the pressure from everybody loyal to the program from within the state.
Osafo-Mensah is the son of Ghanian immigrants and travel was never really a factor in the equation. Instead, he wanted to find the school that had the best possible blend of athletics and academics and Notre Dame’s ability to provide an Ivy League-caliber education while also being one of the most tradition-rich football programs in the country made things easy.
“Notre Dame provided me with more opportunities as a student because of all the foreign exchange programs and being able to meet so many different people up there,” Osafo-Mensah told Tyler James of the South Bend Tribune. “The players are from different parts of the world. Being able to be a part of a school that has that factor in it really appealed to me in a positive way.”
Now, the Irish will have to continue to hold off against Texas as the state inevitably leans on Osafo-Mensah until he can first sign his National Letter of Intent in December. However, the 4-star prospect in the Class of 2019 certainly seems to value the balance Notre Dame provides over all other opportunities.
The Irish were extremely selective along the defensive line in the Class of 2018 despite significant need — particularly at defensive end — because of the depth along the defensive front in this recruiting cycle. And grabbing a commitment from Osafo-Mensah goes a long way toward making that decision look like the prudent one.
That mutual need should ensure that the Irish keep Osafo-Mensah in the fold through signing day.